An Original Documentary: “Kedong County”

It has been quite a while since I last posted here. What’s my excuse? I’ve been busy. With what? Well, mostly with this! (Apologies to those who read ChinaGeeks and are thus seeing all this for the second time)

A few months ago, I took a brief trip to China’s rural northeast. With the speed of China’s urbanization evident every day I passed in Beijing, I had begun to wonder what China’s rural villages looked like. Was it just opportunity drawing millions of migrant workers to China’s cities? Or was something pushing them out of the countryside, too? Here’s what we found:

(Viddler direct link)

If you enjoyed that, please consider helping us with our next project. We’d like to take a lot more time and make a film about the kidnapping and selling of children in China, and the ways those kids find their way home. The project is called Finding Home, and if you’re interested you can find out more information about it and make a pledge to help our project get off the ground. We would be very, very grateful!

(We’re accepting donations through Kickstarter, a rather unique website. Basically, we set a goal and a time limit. If we get pledges that total that amount or greater within the time limit, we get the funding. If we don’t, then all the people who pledged to donate their money can keep it. Making a pledge is easy; if you’ve bought something from Amazon before in your life, the process will be a breeze.)

Let us know your thoughts on Kedong County in the comments. And please, tell all your friends about it and about our next project!


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  1. King Tubby

    Was repeatedly told, never, never, let young Tubby out of sight and hand, when outside the apartment complex.

    Valuable project, Charles and Li. If shown on Chinese media, worth a million stolen child wall posters (which in some cases have been torn down by local authorities).

  2. Bin Wang

    Made my pledge. Hopefully this project gets funded and off the ground as it sounds very exciting. At first, given the lingering amount of unwanted girls still existing in today’s China, it’s a bit of a surprise to me that, in contrast, people would go out of the way to steal girls. But I suppose there’s no profit in being the girl’s father, more profit in being the dealer, and most “profit” if you’re one of those dudes destined to be without a wife (given the imbalance in China today) but for such terrible means.

    Commentary on Kedong County — I think it’s a nice, well-made short. You always notice those places in China where 5 people are standing around doing the job of 1 person. It’s just as the man said: in China, it’s too many people, too little land. Even in the U.S. (much more land, much fewer people), you see the same, closure/sale of family farms (just a while back I read about the sale of the oldest family farm in New Hampshire, which had been in the family for 7 generations), the desire to move to the city, the formation of large mega farms run by fewer people and more machines which are more efficient and cost effective, etc.

    Perhaps Mao foresaw some of the downside of modernization when he advocated for the youth to go to the countryside. As my mother’s side of the family is from Jilin, the focus here on Dongbei is particularly poignant, although I understand that there are poorer places in the West (Gui Zhou, Shaan Xi, etc.). There is a nice film called “Beijing Bicycle” which focused, as one of the main storylines, on the struggles of a young migrant worker from the countryside.

  3. Simon Ningbo

    Too many people in China, the 1 child policy in combination with urbanisation (& education of women) is a brilliant policy. Let’s hope India and Pakistan, Bangladesh learn from China. As soon as people start to earn real wages and get more qualified there will be a huge excess of workforce, rapid demographic change notwithstanding.

  4. Type Two

    Shameless self-promotion.

    • Yeah, sorry about that. Next time I’ll be sure not to interrupt over a month without updates to provide a free half-hour original documentary. My bad.

    • King Tubby

      Type Two. Why be so nasty? Custer hosts an excellent site, and if he wants to promote his forthcoming doco, which is dealing with a heartbreaking issue, good for him.

      If I recall, your posting contributions to date were a waste of keyboard activity.

    • Jones

      Type Two, Custer partially maintains this site. Pretty sure that it’s his prerogative to write something about his documentary that pretty much goes along with the typical subject matter on this site.