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Secrets of the Great Wall: Artisans of the eternal China

Year: 2015, 52 mins
Code: IC-Secrets2

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Volume 1: At the dawn of the Empire

Volume 2: Artisans of the eternal China

Volume 3: The Great Wall's heritage

When the HAN took over from the QIN, the Empire settled and became a strong political reality in the world at that time. Compared to African Empires, or the Occident, at this time dominated by the Romans, China became a real political counterpoint. But also, for hundreds of years, a solid trading partner. The political stability the Wall promoted and guaranteed was the main factor for the development of the prosperous Silk Roads. It took many centuries for the Great Wall to be built, but it gradually became the geographical landmark that accompanied all commercial and cultural exchanges. It was in those days that was born and fed the myth of the Middle Empire, and along with it, the desire to discover China.

Today China is, along with a few other Asian nations, at the heart of the digital revolution. Yet, Chinese citizens prize their traditions a thousand years old. In this second film, we will meet an artisan who still makes tissue paper as well as brandy as it was made two thousand years ago -the tissue paper is what is used for the traditional Chinese paintings as well as for paintbrush calligraphy-. We will also meet a music instrument maker who still operates as in the olden days. He is part of a music ensemble specialising in Shadow Theatre, one of the oldest forms of lyrical performance Art. Of course, in the shadow of the Great Wall.

Written by Michel NOLL
Directed by ZHANG Wenqing et Michel NOLL

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