By Rita Andreetti
Italy/China, 2018, 76’
Wednesday 9, 9.30pm, Cinema Zenith
Producer: Rita Andreetti, Matteo Bosi
Production: Dugong Films, Cronos Film
In August 2014 the 11th Beijing Independent Film Festival was shut down. The Government couldn’t tolerate the screening of some ‘sensitive’ works, particularly a historical documentary called “Spark”.
The news shook filmmakers and public opinion alike, and I couldn’t help but begin a quest in search for the man whose work had pushed the Government to the edge of tolerance.
‘The Observer’ is the portrait of the extraordinary and undetected work of this Chinese dissident artist, Hu Jie. Despite making huge contributions to historical research by uncovering essential testimonies from China’s past, his body of work hasn’t been recognized and he has been long blacklisted. But he still complies to his selfless need to honor the Truth.
This film is animated by the urgency of giving him his silenced voice back.
A recognized but discrete figure of Chinese independent cinema, this self-taught documentary maker and pioneer of Chinese audiovisual historical research allows us to discover his humanity and his social commitment under the benevolent eyes of Rita Andreetti, a young Italian film critic, herself an independent documentary filmmaker, in search of Chinese identity.
Inspired by a tenacity and the inner strength of Hu Jie himself, the documentary tells, supported by few excerpts from his works, how his prolific filmic activity has recently turned into a more intimate pictorial production. Although under an increasing pressure, Hu Jie continues today, tirelessly, to fight for the truth in which he believes and has always believed.
Rita Andreetti was born in Ferrara in 1982. For more than ten years she has been actively involved in independent cinema: over a dozen works, of which she directs and directs the screenplay, and as many collaborations in the field of director assistance. He is one of the founders of the Cronos Film cultural association (www.cronosfilm.org) as well as editor of the Indipendentidalcinema.it film webzine project (www.indipendentidalcinema.it).
In love with animation and independent cinema, she has always considered cinema as the sublimation of all the arts, and cannot help but enjoy it. He reads, travels around the world as soon as he can and is spot-dependent. Although he has been living in China since 2012, in Nanjing, Italy is always in his heart: he is currently collaborating with the Mask9.com portal as a film critic and press office; writes for the magazine Taxidrivers.it about Asian cinema and publishes a blog for Vanity Fair in which he tells of his experience: cineserie.vanityfair.it. He dreams of one day being able to speak Chinese fluently and distribute Italian films to this huge audience.
In 2012 she moved to Nanjing, China. Here she has written about Asian cinema for the magazines Taxidrivers.it, Farefilm.it and Saporedicina.com. She is an active supporter of Chinese indie filmmaking too, through the China Independent Film Festival and new creative film projects.
“The Observer” is her first feature film.