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China |  2021 | 40min | Short | Non-fiction

Director: YANG Xiao

Screenwriter: YANG Xiao

Productor: YANG Xiao, CHEN Sisi

Cinematographer: YANG Xiao

Editor: YANG Xiao

Sound: CHEN Sisi

Music: XIE Yunqing

Starring: QIN Naibao, LUO Fengqin, HE Zhenjun








About the film

Folk songs in today’s China are mostly visible in tourist campaign where singers and their chantings are stereotyped. Prevalent cultural hegemony reinforces the self-othering images of Zhuang people (ethnic group who mostly live in South China) and their cultural heritage, and accelerates the shattering of Zhuang people’s country life. To challenge this kind of fictionalization, in THE MOUNTAINS SING, director Yang Xiao ventures into rural areas and urban cities, to find different singers and gatherings of Zhuang people, trying to rediscover the broken echo of the folk songs they sing.

THE MOUNTAINS SING is a ethnofiction, a documentary film, but more than that: it follows the current situation of Zhuang folk songs in the midst of unstoppable political and economic trend, ponders the resilience of cultural forms in this Internet age, reflects the migration of labor, the planned landscaping of countryside, in an observational and constructive way. In the director’s own words, this film can be a prose without narration, an album of improvised poems, a fragmented Zhuang folk song itself in cinematic form.


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FIRST International Film Festival 2021

Short Film Competition - Special Mention

Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival​

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Yang Xiao, born in Guilin, Guangxi in 1989. Graduated from Shanghai University and now lives in Shanghai. His past works include THE SUSPENDED STEP (2013), DANCING TOGETHER (2015) and CHRONICLE OF A DURIAN (2017). As an assistant director and storyboard artist, he participated in the production of THE WILD GOOSE LAKE (2019) and KAILI BLUES (2014), and also he engaged in film editing, such as THE FALL(2018) and THE DAY IS OVER (2020).

His own works have been exhibited in several international film festivals at home and abroad, including Paris, Tours, Hawaii, Washington, Orlando, Busan, Delhi, Hanoi, Beijing, Shanghai, Xining, Nanjing, etc.

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