The presentation in Beijing reached its two culminating points: discussions with the students of Communication University of China which followed the screening of the tutors’ films, and the grand official closing of the project which followed the screening of “Beijing from Dawn till Dusk” with the participation of the university authorities and the Ambassador of Belarus in China (in connection with the Minsk part of the cycle) and the audience of nearly 400 people filling the university assembly hall. Nowhere else would the discussions about the films reach such intensity and emotional temperature as in Beijing. The discussions run by Mateusz Werner with Mirosław Dembiński, Vita Żelakieviciute, Maciej Drygas and Rafał Listopad concerned issues of artistic freedom, the strategy of how to deal with political censorship, but also the specificity of editing documentaries, differences between a documentary and a report, as well as issues of film language: the presence of the author’s commentary in the film, dialogues, etc. This wide spectrum of discussion subjects was also enriched by short lectures of the authors explaining the historical background of some films: Martial Law in Poland, the movement called “The Orange Alternative”, the events of 1968, or the case of Ryszard Siwiec, who set fire on himself. Despite the late hour, the Chinese students did not want to finish the meeting, which finally came to an end at 10 p.m., and expressed their interest by asking questions and making their own commentaries, occasionally disagreeing with what they heard. The official screening of the Chinese part of the project was accompanied by a solemn atmosphere, although there were also some funny moments like a photo being taken of all the workshop participants in a jump, or handing out T-shirts with the project logo. In the public commentaries about the film the authors’ decision to show Beijing as an authentic and not as a tourist place was pointed out. This is what the Chinese audience liked the most.
- Communication University of China