Al Jazeera Preview Screening: Chinese Dreamland + Q&A
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director David Borenstein and producer Jesper Jack.
The “Exotic Flavour Talent Agency” can turn a rural Chinese ghost town into a booming world-class city for the afternoon. Company CEO Suky and his assistant Yana organise attention-grabbing performances and talent shows in cooperation with property developers and local government officials to make real estate more appealing to potential buyers. At estate openings they stage dazzling spectacles where foreigners (seldom seen in these areas of the country) are presented as famous entertainers, important businessmen, top-20 models, diplomats, architects and more. The performances are timed right for when prospective buyers from cities arrive and are intended to give properties a “modern appeal.”
In Chinese Dreamland, the success of Suky and Yana’s foreigner-focused talent agency is tied to questions concerning racial diversity and globalisation, as well as the sustainability of China’s rapid urban development. During the height of the housing boom, the pair continuously travel to remote development projects and stage spectacles that turn them into “cities of the future” – as defined by the surreal imaginations of provincial Chinese politicians and developers.
But soon the demand for foreign talent becomes a deflating housing bubble. Facing increasing financial pressure, both Suky and Yana are thrown into desperation and must fight to save their business and aspirations. Ultimately, they come to have second thoughts on their industry — and the “Chinese dream” in general.
Chinese Dreamland will be featured on Al Jazeera English on 16 September.
Director: David Borenstein
Producer: Jesper Jack