Ke Dingding and Guo Jing are not your typical independent Chinese filmmakers. They don’t live in Beijing; their films aren’t explicitly political; and they’re not distributed by the New York indie operation, dGenerate Films. Far from living beneath the radar, Ke and Guo have day jobs at Shanghai TV, and make their own independent docos on the side. Intelligent, personal and often profoundly sad, these documentaries are a reminder of the diversity of Chinese independent filmmaking: it’s not only the underground DIY crew who demonstrate courage and a critical eye.
At Shanghai TV, Ke and Guo have made programs about celebrity blogger, Han Han, and the much-admired dancer, and transgender role-model, Jin Xing. In their own time, however, they make intimate films about everyday people in contemporary Shanghai, often focussing on the pressures Chinese society puts upon its children.