A documentary in which the major activity is watching. No commentary. No interviews. Yet a sharp and very observant as well as humorous gaze. A gaze filled with compassion. The film follows a group of circus artistes and especially the tight-rope walker Adil Hoxur. The circus family comes from Uygur. They speak their own language, not the Chinese of the Xinjiang region where they travel. And they are Islamic. Just like their forefathers have been for hundreds of years, and they roamed China for hundreds of years too; that was never a problem. But 9/11 has left its mark in China as well. Religious autonomy and political independence are also difficult concepts in today's changing China - inconceivable concepts really. This is only noticeable indirectly in the film; an odd remark, a single demonstrator kept away by the police. Not much has changed apparently in the last five hundred years. Adil Hoxur, one of the most famous men in Uygur, also attracts attention politically, but his ambition is only to be a great tight-rope walker. Stratman has a reputation as a multimedia artist and experimental film maker. Against this background, this is a very accessible film. Stratman tries to develop her own documentary language, one that retains respect for the subject while clearly trying to find a clear and accessible form of visual narration at the same time. (GjZ)

Filmmaker
Deborah Stratman
Premiere
European premiere
Country
USA, China
Year
2004
Medium
DV cam NTSC
Length
68’
Language
Mandarin, English
Producer
Pythagoras Productions, Deborah Stratman
Sales
Pythagoras Productions
Cinematography
Deborah Stratman
Editor
Deborah Stratman
Sound Design
Jacob Ross, Deborah Stratman