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The Chinese Mayor - Opening Film + Q&A

  • Downtown Independent 251 South Main Street Los Angeles, CA, 90012 United States (map)

Change is afoot in Datong. Controversial Communist Party Mayor Geng Yanbo is pulling down one of the world's dirtiest cities to recreate its glorious past. The plan is radical and China's ruling elites are watching him closely. Mayor Geng believes that the future for Datong's population of 3.5 million people lies in culture. His radical reform plan is to recreate Datong's four great ancient

walls side by side to restore the ancient city. To succeed, Geng must raise funds quadruple that of the city's fiscal income and execute mass-scale demolition. The road is paved with risk. Some call him the devil mayor, but Geng is too bent on his utopian vision to care. He has 40,000 of the 140,000 households to relocate before the closure of the great walls and rostrums by September 2013. Geng works from 5:30a.m. till midnight. With his office onsite he investigates construction progress everyday and fends off violent protests against forced eviction. 

Geng is remaking Datong with the speed that only China's party cadres can through an autocratic and secretive web of power. But in a system where officials often do best by doing nothing, why is Geng carrying out such a controversial plan in the spotlight? In his quiet, private moments, Geng reflects on his own heart and the road ahead. "Some say I've forgotten to be a politician and focused too much on practical deeds. But I'd rather endure criticism today than become a mediocre official." In a rare and intimate encounter, The Chinese Mayor looks through the eyes of those ruling in China's greatest era of change, to reflect a giant country with such dilemma and complications that are beyond simple black-and-white image on the news streams.

Director: Hao Zhou周浩

Length: 86 mins

Earlier Event: October 25
Opening Ceremony
Later Event: October 25
LGBTQ Night with Q&A