Film of the Month- The Making of a Supercity and The Fate of Old Beijing CH-1

Two short films about Beijing made by the filmmaker Jonah Kessel.

The Making of a Supercity 

The Making of a Supercity was produced to accompany the New York Times article about China’s plans to create a super-city by combining Beijing with some of its surrounding cities and provinces.

“For decades, China’s government has tried to limit the size of Beijing, the capital, through draconian residency permits. Now, the government has embarked on an ambitious plan to make Beijing the center of a new supercity of 130 million people. The planned megalopolis, a metropolitan area that would be about six times the size of New York’s, is meant to revamp northern China’s economy and become a laboratory for modern urban growth.”

The film looks at how some suburban residents cope with difficult commutes and shortages of public services.

The Making of a Supercity 
Directed by Jonah Kessel, China, 2015, 5mins
Watch the full film above.

The Fate of Old Beijing CH.1 – A Disappearing World 

In a three-part series, filmmakers Jonah Kessel and Kit Gillet explore the vanishing world of Beijing’s hutongs and how in the face of China’s rapid modernization, the world’s most populous country is struggling to preserve its cultural heritage.

CH.1: For many residents, hutong life is all they have ever known, and their memories and lives are intertwined strongly with the old streets and alleyways. Yet as time has gone by, many of the courtyards have become overcrowded and the buildings themselves have deteriorated. Despite the cultural heritage of the hutongs thousands of them have been razed in the past decades to make way for urban development destroying centuries of history and contributing to the shrinking of the remaining hutong space.

The Fate of Old Beijing CH.1 – A Disappearing World 
Directed by Jonah Kessel and Kit Gillet, China, 2015, 6mins
Watch the full film below.

The Fate of Old Beijing: CH. 1 - A Disappearing World from Jonah Kessel on Vimeo.

Posted in: Film Of The Month
Date: August 27, 2015