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Songhua

DIR: J. P. Sniadecki
2007 / China, United States / 28 min

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In northeastern China the Songhua River flows west from the border of Russia to the city of Harbin, where four million people depend on it as a source of water. Songhua is a portrait of the varying people that gather where the river meets the city, and an ethnographic study of the intimate ways in which they play and work.

Through a series of interchanging and overlapping vignettes, filmmaker J.P. Sniadecki presents a full range of the river's value: from couples who fly kites or play cards by its shoreline, to fishermen who drag nets through its waters, to a vendor who relies on its attraction as a popular destination to sell his pinwheels. The river is a place containing multitudes, where a woman cleans up every single piece of trash along the bank, and a boy plays in the sand and drinks from a stagnant river pool littered with debris.

Filmed only one year after a major chemical spill (one of the largest river spills in recent years), Songhua is at once a tender record of interactions with the natural waterway, and a subtle, but dark consideration of the societal and environmental implications of the river's condition.

About

Director J. P. Sniadecki
Screenplay J. P. Sniadecki
Dir. of Photography J. P. Sniadecki
Editing J. P. Sniadecki
Music
Sound
Duration 28 min
Year 2007
Country China, United States
Colour Colour
Tags Asia, cities, observational
Production Sensory Ethnography Lab
Sensory Ethnography Lab
Country:  United States
Web:  sel.fas.harvard.edu/
E-mail:  

Distribution CinemaGuild, J. P. Sniadecki
CinemaGuild
Address:  115 West 30 Street, Ste. 800
City:  NY10001 New York
Country:  United States
Web:  www.cinemaguild.com/
E-mail:  
Phone:  (800) 723-5522

J. P. Sniadecki
Country:  United States
Web:  peoplesparkfilm.com/
E-mail:  

Festivals

Whitney Bienniale, 2014


Eyes ...

Whitney Bienniale, 2014


Eyes & Lenses Ethnographic Film Festival, 2008


VIENNALE (Vienna International Film Festival), 2008


Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, 2015

Awards


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