© Antony Gormley's Waste Man commissioned by Artangel for Penny Woolcock's feature film Exodus
Director: Yiqing Zhang (China)
Run time: 69'
Location/Ethnic group: China
Production/Distribution: Hubei Television Station
Shot over 14 months, this film records the everyday lives of children at a boarding kindergarten in Wuhan, Hubei Province. It shows how they experience an education overburdened with social and historical background. It catches their moments of laughter and happiness, their struggles against setbacks that they do not always understand, their thoughts about issues that arise both in their own and in the adult world. It is a film that makes everyone laugh, but the naivety of the children is always shown from their own perspective. Deep insights are embedded in the seemingly light-hearted scenes and not only about childhood. For the film is also a metaphor for the adult world. As the opening line of the film says: "They are our children, but maybe they are us ourselves".
Zhang Yiqing is a highly experienced documentary director of Hubei Television Station and a member of China Documentary Academic Committee. His films have won many prizes in both Chinese and international competitions. In addition to Kindergarten, his best known films are The World of Zhouzhou (1997), about an educationally disadvantaged person who becomes the director of a Western-style symphony orchestra, and Ying and Bai (2000), which is about the relationship between a giant panda, Ying and his keeper, Bai and the way in which the see the world in the year 1999. Both these films were translated into English, French, German, and Dutch and have been widely screened in the European and American mass media.