Reminiscent of what is happening today in Hong Kong, Beijing Spring is a story about underground film-making, radical art and censorship.
Beijing Spring, by Andy Cohen and Gaylen Ross. United States, Switzerland, 2021. 100'. Madrid premiere
At Democracy Wall in Beijing 1978, the Stars, a group of self-taught artists— including a young Ai Weiwei—challenged propaganda art by showing their new art that championed individuality and freedom of speech, often exposing the inhumanity of the Cultural Revolution. Provoked by the Stars’ exhibitions and protest demonstrations, the authorities cracked down and closed Democracy Wall. Recording it all was a daring young film-maker called Chi Xiaoning.
Andy Cohen is an independent film-maker and journalist. His work is investigative and rooted in values and the protection of human rights. He has produced, directed and written a number of award-winning documentaries, including Dealers among Dealers (1996) and Killing Kasztner (2008), both co-produced with Gaylen Ross, and Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (2012). Cohen has also directed and written a series of short films on China's leading contemporary artists in collaboration with the magazine Art Asia Pacific, of which he is a contributing editor.
Gaylen Ross has produced, directed and written numerous documentaries during the course of her 25-year career, many of which have won awards at national and international festivals. Two of her films have been screened at the Berlin International Film Festival: the Emmy Award-winning Blood Money: Switzerland’s Nazi Gold on Swiss banks and the accounts of the Holocaust; and her film on the diamond trade, Dealers among Dealers (1996), a rare inside view of this virtually impenetrable world.
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