'A Fascinating Record of a period of extraordinary change in one of the oldest cities on Earth" Jenny Neighbour, Sydney Film Festival.
"Warriors in a Desperate Battle to Preserve Beijing" Weifeng Liu, China Daily,
With 400 cities of the size of Beijing planned to be built by 2020 China has little time to reflect on its past. Beijing is experiencing the fastest redevelopment since Haussmann redesigned Paris in the 19th Century.
By 2009 little of Old Beijing remained: international architects Paul Andreu, Australia's PTW, OMA’S Ole Scheeren, and ARUP Engineers Rory McGowan and Tristram Carfrae show their landmark Beijing buildings and discuss working in China. Controversial Artist and arctivist Ai Wei Wei, comments on the process of change.
Historic Qianmen, home of Peking Opera, is demolished and re-constructed in 2008 by developer SOHO and unveiled as a bizarre 'replica' of "Old Beijing". Local resident Zhang Jinqi launches a project to photograph Qianmen and other districts facing demolition, gathering residents to document their neighborhoods. With the help of the Ford Foundation, the project grows to cover six Chinese cities. In early 2009 Zhang and colleagues open the exhibition "Memory of China", of vanishing cultural heritage.
The architects' vision for China’s future contrasts with Zhang's dream of preserving Beijing’s cultural heritage.
Can the efforts of emerging Chinese NGOs like Zhang's slow the pace of change?