|15/10 (Mon)||9:45 pm||MOViE MOViE Cityplaza|
|18/10 (Thur)||7:40 pm||MOViE MOViE Cityplaza*|
*Q&A session with director
Ma Lin, Li Qian
China / 2018 / 54 min
In Putonghua with Chi & Eng Sub
Three people who lived in Shenzhen's Baishizhou - a mobster turned butcher, a romantically troubled young courier and a little girl with academic problems - all managed to live in harmony despite their cramped living space.
Li Qian is a scriptwriter whose work Border was featured in the Seventh Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture.
Ma Lin is a director who participated in a number of film productions and engaged mainly in film production design.
Located next to Shenzhen’s Shennan Road, Baishizhou is the most densely populated “City Village” in Shenzhen, with a population of more than 140 thousand residing in over 2,000 rental houses within an area of only 0.6 square kilometres. For decades, the place has been popular among migrants and peasant workers because of the abundance of rental houses, low rent and its convenient location. Crowded narrow streets separate the many buildings inside the village, which house a wide variety of small local stores that provide the daily necessities of residents.
“City Villages”, which generally refers to villages that have survived in urban areas, is a phenomenon brought about by Chinese urbanisation. Today they are mostly communities that have lagged behind in development, as characterised by low living standards and often chaotic management. That being said, these villages fill an important role in urban and economic development by supplying cheap housing much needed by the migrant population, who often find it difficult to combat the rising prices of Chinese cities with their meagre income.
“City Villages” are often the target of criticisms for their poor living and hygiene conditions and higher crime rate, which damage the image of the cities they are a part of. Baishizhou, for example, is located at the heart of Shenzhen and its commercial potential has long attracted the attention of developers as well as the government. Shenzhen officials attempted to develop certain parts of Baishizhou in 2014. Although ultimately the plan was unsuccessful, time may soon run out for the village as Shenzhen continues to undergo rapid development which will likely lead to the demolition of the village.