The Documentary Back to the Village is Scheduled to Be Broadcast, Bringing Us Back to Our Spiritual Homeland
The documentary Back to the Village is scheduled to be broadcast at 21:50 from October 1st to 5th, 2015, two episodes per night on CCTV-9, and will be broadcast simultaneously online on the documentary channels of Ifeng Video, Youku and iQIYI. Soon afterwards, Secret China, the European version of the documentary Back to the Village, will be broadcast on such overseas platforms as the French State Television, Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) and Spafax. The documentary is jointly produced by top production teams at home and abroad, which records the lives of contemporary Chinese farmers with an international perspective and vivid audio-visuals and presents their joys and sorrows, changes of life and ultimately touching rural stories.
It is reported that the production of the documentary Back to the Village has taken two years and three months and that the production teams have been to 17 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in total, including Tibet, Xinjiang, Ningxia, Hainan, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Guizhou, Sichuan, Guangdong, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Hubei, Yunnan and Chongqing. The documentary has ten episodes, covering from cold regions to warm seaside villages.
China is a large agricultural country with more than half of its 1.3 billion populations living in rural areas. In the past 20 years, rural China has been undergoing the most dramatic changes in thousands of years as well as the largest movement towards urbanization in the world, which has been vigorously on the march. Amongst these great changes, Chinese farmers are finding more possibilities of their lives compared with their ancestors who lived constant in their farming lives. This changing era is brimming with vitality and excitement, against a backdrop of innocence.
In Chinese philosophy, each place has its own way of supporting its inhabitants. In this vast land, different geographic features have resulted in the distinctive country lives of different people. Despite the difference, common ground is always found in these people, no matter they live in the northernmost places covered with white snow or in a fishing village of the South China Sea, or whether they are old people or children learning their first words. That is their deep affection for the ground under their feet and their strong vision and hope for the future.
Far from skyscrapers, shuttle cars and flashing neon lights, we have traveled around China to discover, retrace and record the quiet corners and the lives of contemporary Chinese farmers, their joys and sorrows, the changes of life with vivid audio-visuals, in order to present their stories.
Village is the spiritual homeland of all Chinese people. It is part of our roots and the most beautiful place in our hearts.
Southern Chinese riverside towns are located on the southern bank of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River--the longest river of China and the location of the most affluent villages of China. Nanxun, an ancient township of water with a history of more than 700 years, boasts commercial prosperity due to convenient water and land transportation. In addition, sericulture or the mulberry silk industry, has also contributed to the wealth of Nanxun. Developed since the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it has been an important part of Chinese traditional agriculture and has a history of thousands of years. In today’s ancient Nanxun Town, many graceful ancient buildings still remain, many of which were the mansion homes of the silk merchants. World-renowned Chinese silk is produced from the cocoons of silk threads made by the silkworms, the same silk contributing to the development of the Silk Road connecting China and the western world. Water can generate wealth. This Chinese proverb from the agrarian age appears to have been proven over time in the industrial and commercial era of this society.
The South of the Clouds
Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau in the southwest of China boasts spring-like weather year round due to high altitude and low latitude. The Hani people contentedly inhabit this land of red earth of 400,000 square kilometers. Above the fortified villages in which the Hani people live are the “Magic Woods,” from which gurgling streams wind down into the villages for the use of both humans and animals. The water flows into terraced fields and collects at the bottom of the Red River. The Hani terraced fields have lasted for thousands of years in this top-down ecosystem. The people grow their rice seedlings in March, plow and transplant them in April, celebrate the “Kuzhazha” festival (a traditional festival of the Hani people) when the rice flowers in June and July, harvest in September, dry the rice in October and irrigate and nurture the fields in December. Their life repeats and changes, day after day and all year round in this way in the dense water vapor of the plateau.
On the map of China, mountains account for one third of the land area. For thousands of years, reliance on the mountains is the oldest living ideal of China. Mount Longhu in Jiangxi Province has supported generations of people who settle here in this way. Mount Longhu is full of mystery and also brings plentiful natural gifts to the people who live here. A medicinal herb named Dendrobium officinale that is bred here is much expensive than gold. It grows slowly, one centimeter per year, on the most dangerous precipices in conditions of shade and humidity with sunshine and rain. Having been picked for thousands of years, wild Dendrobium officinale is extremely rare now. Picking it is arduous and dangerous. The deep mountain forest in midsummer is a hotbed of poisonous insects and beasts, even native people may encounter trouble. In spite of this, Mount Longhu still attracts a continuous stream of villagers to go deep into the mountains for the rare treasure. From south to north, and from west to east, the Chinese people who rely on the mountains present different stories and pass on the Chinese knowledge of survival in a unique way.