The Rolling Lantern of Fengxian

Documentary | CH 2011 | 26' | Subtitled English

It’s a mixture of fok art, acrobatic, sportive dance and religious ritual: The »Rolling Lantern of Fengxian« is a six foot high ball of 30 kilograms, braided together from 12 bamboo poles, in the middle of which you can light a small fire. This bamboo ball is then thrown around the body with all sorts of artistic feats. This 26 minute short documentary is part of the CHINA’S NATIONAL CULTURAL HERITAGE series and illuminates a 700 year old tradition named after the Shanghai suburb of Fengxian. Today the Rolling Lantern is deeply embedded into Buddhist culture, sung about in poetry and has its own schools, competitions and artisan traditions, carefully explained here. This fascinating documentary shows elegant images of this ritua in all kinds of contexts: at a folk festival with fireworks, at the beginners’ training lessons and at the grandmasters’ competitions, who in sparse clothing stand at the beach, whirling their massive lantern into the most beautifully flowing figures.

Best of Documentary

Producer
Xiao Long Wang
Executive Producer
Shen Yu Qin
Director
Noah Zhang
Script
Meng Zhou Zhang
Photography
Cao Gang
Editor
Zhang Dao Yan
Sound
Chen Bai Zhou
Music
Dong Chen Kang
Production Design
Wang Zhen Rong
Production Companies
Shanghai Media Group/Shadow Motion/Arts and Humanity Channel of Shanghai Media Group

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