A disappearance foretold

Olivier Meys
Belgium, France 2008 | 86 Min. | BetaSP, OmeU

Qian­men” is a pop­u­lar neigh­bour­hood in the very heart of Bei­jing, just south of the Tianan­men Square. In the per­spec­tive of the 2008 Olympic Games, the city decid­ed that the six hun­dred years old neigh­bour­hood has to be “reha­bil­i­tat­ed”. It is now in the line of fire of the pro­mot­ers, and the 80,000 people living there are facing dras­tic (and dra­mat­ic) changes.

The film fol­lows the rapid­ly chang­ing life in the neigh­bour­hood for more than a year and a half, from one real­i­ty to anoth­er, com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent one. Little by little, frag­ment per frag­ment, the film is draw­ing a por­trait of the neigh­bour­hood, record­ing memory of a soon dis­ap­pear­ing real­i­ty. A story of con­tem­po­rary China.