Editor’s foreword: "Looking China" International Youth Film Project is co-organized by the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture (AICCC), Beijing Normal University and Huilin Foundation, which aims to showcase the contrasting simplicity and glamour, the antiquity and fashion of China through unique perspectives of young foreign film makers.
As of the year 2016, 101 students from 25 countries were invited to participate in the project. They were stationed in 13 municipality, provinces and autonomous regions here in China. Every filmmaker has worked out a 10-minute short film about Chinese culture around the topic of “ethnic minority”.
The film, Dong Songs through Generations, directed by Synne Akselberg, captures the mood of a Dong minority village, which appears to be getting eclipsed by modern times.
Dong villagers there are still poor and struggling to adapt to the contemporary society. Young women are leaving town, making it harder for young adult single men to get married and raise a family.
The Dong people love water, which is in constant motion, so they are beset by shifting mood swings and sing songs to put themselves in a happier mood.
The elder generation wish to teach children Dong songs, so its traditional customs will never disappear. The community feels united behind the Kam Grand Choir.
The chorus has garnered nationwide fame and they perform at all festivals for the village. Families still living in Xiaohuang Village hope that they can sign up their children for the choral group.
But, the Kam Grand Choir enroll only the best singers and dancers in the village. Hence, many children start learning to sing Dong songs as early as 2-year-old.
The film highlights one little toddler with a love for singing Dong songs. She gets special training from an elderly woman and hopefully one day she can join the Kam Grand Choir.