China 1990, 90 min., English subtitles
The director spent weeks walking through the streets, courtyards and dilapidated flats of Beijing with his hand-held camera, taking a close look at the lives and everyday world of five artists living on the margins of society. On the one hand, long shots, empty spaces and, on the other, bizarre cinema vérite, homing in closely on its human subjects, as well as personal interventions in the style of Marcel Ophül. Bumming in Beijing offers a glimpse of China that would never have been tolerated in the past. Wu began filming shortly after the events at Tiananmen Square. The silence that is so striking at times is an implicit commentary on the destructive noise of the tanks at the square. It is no accident that four of the five artists portrayed here left their home country shortly afterwards.
Curator's Night: Wu Wenguang - The real China
Film-maker Wu Wenguang belongs to a generation that has set itself the task of showing ways of living on the margins of legality – as in his two films that portray young artists who are staying in Beijing without a work permit. They feel that it is more important to determine their own lives than to live a secure, officially sanctioned existence.