Camille Ponsin: Les demoisellesDeNankin

There are loads of documentaries about the changing China made by Westerners and/or by the Chinese themselves. This one is made by French filmmaker Camille Ponsin, who unlike several Western crews got access to the University of Nankin and took his camera and time to film during a year. A clever and charming observation of young students has come out of it, yet a bit anonymous, lacks maybe a clearer storyline in his showing of youngsters, who basically are like young students all over the world. They fall in love, they find the studies sometimes boring, some are adapting to the rules of the university, others object and find their own small niche.

The year is 2005 and Qie Kun and Miao Miao are the main characters. They represent what is the new China. One is still the perfect student, who advises others and goes to pay a visit to the pioneers, the other is more keen on finding out what she can do with her body. The first is ironic about the propaganda but goes along, the other talks with her boyfriend about the variety of sex positions.

The director had also access to the teachers and he definitely demonstrates a talent for catching human moments that go different than the clichés about China today.

France, 2007, 55 mins.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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