26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Merry Christmas, Yiwu
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Merry Christmas, Yiwu
Merry Christmas, Yiwu
Merry Christmas, Yiwu
Merry Christmas, Yiwu
Merry Christmas, Yiwu
Merry Christmas, Yiwu
Merry Christmas, Yiwu
Merry Christmas, Yiwu
Merry Christmas, Yiwu

Merry Christmas, Yiwu

director: Mladen Kovačević
original title: Merry Christmas, Yiwu
country: Sweden, Serbia, France, Germany, Belgium, Qatar
year: 2020
running time: 94 min.

synopsis

Though China doesn't celebrate Christmas, it’s exactly where the magic of Christmas comes from. Yiwu City District is home to more than 600 factories that make glittering bulbs, flashing snowmen, and other festive decorations. People from all over the country flock to Yiwu to land a good-paying job, and they leave their families, college, and cultural traditions behind just so they can buy the latest iPhone with the money they earn. The film explores their typical day on the job and private lives with a pinch of laconic humour. And with the help of perceptive observation, the many paradoxes of a globalised world and a modernising communist China are brought to the fore.
 
 
“I wanted it to be a photogenic and illustrative story that could be told in an observational and organic way without too much manipulation of the narrative, but also an emotionally relevant story for the Western world.” M. Kovačević

biography

Serbian filmmaker Mladen Kovačević (1979) studied feature film directing in Belgrade, London, and Cape Town. In recent years, however, he has taken a particular interest in documentary filmmaking. His films Anplagd (2013), Wall of Death, and All That (2016) and 4 years in 10 minutes (2018) competed at the Visions du Réel and were also screened at various other international festivals where they took home a number of awards.

more about film

director: Mladen Kovačević
producer: Iva Plemic Divjak, Mario Adamson, Ruth Reid
script: Mladen Kovačević
photography: Marko Milovanovic
editing: Jelena Maksimovic
music: Olof Dreijer
sound: Patrik Strömdahl
koproducent: Heino Deckert, Jasmina Sijercic, Thierry Detaille
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