Tag Archives: documentary

Beautiful video showcases cross-cultural love

News on TV can be pretty depressing, with stories of ethnic conflict and ongoing warfare. Thankfully, stories about cross-cultural relationships, such as AJ’s and Natalie’s, give us hope for humanity.  This mini-documentary shows two people from totally different worlds, defying the odds for the sake of love.

My favorite part is when AJ explains to his Chinese mom that his British-Spanish girlfriend, Natalie, is vegetarian.

“My mom’s first reaction was: ‘OK, she can eat chicken.’  I said, ‘No, no chicken.’  So she replied, ‘OK, fish then?”

In all seriousness, I gotta give props to Natalie for not only living in China as a vegetarian (not easy!) but for also mastering Mandarin (she busts out in Chinese at 4:35).

Film maker Jason Lee Wong created this as part of a series 10 mini-documentaries for the European Union in China.  Check out his other videos here.

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Director of “Man Zou: Beijing to Shanghai” reveals China on bike

Imagine traveling 1,000 miles from Beijing to Shanghai…by bike.  That’s exactly what four American guys decided to do after the Olympics in 2008.  Equipped with cameras, a map, and their bicycles, they were able to capture the true essence of China’s people, culture, and environment, untarnished by the lens of Western media.

Director of the documentary “Man Zou: Beijing to Shanghai,” Jason Reid, 32,  treks through China to tell of how his view of China changed, as well as what dog meat tastes like.  The documentary is being submitted to the Shanghai International Film Festival in June.

Why did you pick China to film your documentary?

The China project hashed when a couple of friends suggested that we go on bicycle tour from Bangkok to Beijing for 2008 Olympics.  There is website called Bike China with a bunch of routes and there was a bunch of Chinese guys who would take people on these trips.  That’s where we found Doven Lu (their guide).  He was our lens to see China.

What image did you want to portray to your audience about China?

We had three major goals.  I wanted to see what the growth actually looks like economically, socially, and technologically.  I wanted to see it with fresh eyes as opposed to what Western media would like to dictate.  We just wanted to go there with open mind, with little to no preconceived notion or research, and just let China reveal it to us.

Second was the environmental aspect of it. By going on bike, you are more connected with environment more so than if you are in a car.  It was an interesting dichotomy to see what Beijing is like with blue skies where people are doing things to regulate the environment, versus Shanghai which is an industrial area.

Third was to look at the relationship between China and the U.S.  Our goal was to learn more about the country that is so mysterious over here and that is only seen through lens of Western media. It was also an opportunity for us to break down the preconceived notions people have of China.

How did cycling through China bring a new perspective to how you viewed the country?

It revealed a country much different than what Western media would like to be.  It was open, and people were happy and proud of their country.  People didn’t seem mad and oppressed. They took pride in their country and what China has accomplished in past 10 years.  They were proud of new standing place in world.

On the environmental front, a lot of people think China isn’t doing anything about the problem, but in actuality, China has been extremely focused on that. They realize this model of growth isn’t sustainable and they don’t want unrest.  They have to do something or else they’re going to have unrest of people.

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Crackdown on Bali beaches turns up 28 suspected gigolos

Indonesian police officers are apparently targeting “tanned and muscular” men on the beautiful beaches of Bali. This comes after the release of “Cowboys in Paradise,” a documentary on the studs of the island’s Kuta beach resort who start flings with foreign women in exchange for material goods. Amit Virmani, the Singapore-based director of the documentary, retaliated against the arrests. “A witch hunt for men with tanned and muscular bodies on the beach is the last thing anybody wants,” he said.

After the film was released at a South Korean film festival, Bali officials freaked out over the negative image it projected of Bali’s resorts, triggering their “gigolo” raids. The handsome beach cowboys are now saying that Virmani had distorted their words and they deny prostituting themselves.

Bobbi, 53, a man who considers himself somewhat of a mentor to the cowboys, said:

“We’re friendly people so we chat with everybody including female tourists. What’s wrong with joking, laughing, giving massages to one another after a tiring day of surfing? It’s nothing more than that.”

Oh, the trials and tribulations of a beautiful, tanned Bali beach bum!

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