1. Program
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  3. Film Series
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  5. From the Margins of China
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  7. The Trail from Xinjiang + Singing in the Wilderness

The Trail from Xinjiang + Singing in the Wilderness

偷 + 旷野歌声

The Trail from Xinjiang (《偷》)
Chen Dongnan, China 2013, 36 min. Mandarin with English subtitles

Thief: A label that people from Xinjiang province have found difficult to shed over the last two decades and an indication of the negative stereotype they are associated with in China. In The Trail from Xinjiang, director Chen Dongnan unpicks this label and the people behind it. In a mid-sized city in East China, she closely follows Musa, Ali and their friends, a group from Xinjiang who make a living by stealing. Struggling to survive and plagued by drug addiction, the future seems bleak.

Singing in the Wilderness(《旷野歌声》)
Chen Dongnan, China 2021, 98 min. Mandarin, Mandarin & Miao with English subtitles

Miao (苗) is an ethnic minority group that originated in China. After hiding in the mountains for a century, a talented Miao Christian choir is discovered by an outsider and becomes a national sensation. Singing in the Wilderness follows the villagers as they attempt to reconcile their faith and identity with the China that exists beyond their mountain community. Through Dongnan’s camera, the viewer is presented with an array of social issues: from the Christian Miao people’s individual struggles and spiritual suffering, to broader questions about the history and representation of ethnic minorities in China.