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Broken Silence by Flipse, Eline

BROKEN SILENCE is about the influence of Mao's Cultural_Revolution on the music and everyday life in China. It focuses on five prominent Chinese composers - Qi Gang Chen, Tan_Dun, Wenjing Guo, Xiao-Song_Qu, Mo Wuping - who only came into contact with Western classical music, which waslabelled anti-revolutionary, in the late seventies. The film is a visually arresting exploration of the fate of music after China's Cultural Revolution and won many international awards, including the prestigeous Grand Prix of Visions du R?el in Nyon, Switzerland.

Social Interest Interest
The portraits of five Chinese composers regarded as the founders of new Chinese music. All five grew up during's Cultural_Revolution from 1966 to 1976. Western classical music being labelled anti-r?volutionary, they hardly knew anything but the propagandistic operas. We meet them in the Netherlands, in Paris, New York and of course China where the roots of their talent are to be found.

Political Interest
A visually arresting exploration of the fate of music after China's Cultural_Revolution, during which all Western music and even Chinese traditional music was branded "bourgeois" and counter-revolutionary A new generation was eager to learn once music academies were opened again, and we see how a rich new world, so long suppressed, inspired five composers. More than a musicological treatise, this film is also a beautiful impressionistic study of the ancient and contemporary sounds and images which have informed their imaginations, made them receptive to Western music and placed them at the forefront of making Chinese music accessible to Western ears.

Historic Interest
BROKEN SILENCE utilizes interviews with five prominent composers to examine the reemergence of new musical styles in post-Mao China. During the 10 years of the Cultural_Revolution (1966-1976), musicians and composers were not allowed to play or study any form of Western music unless it was part of a propagandistic opera. The strictures governing the creation of new Chinese music were similarly tight. When the Beijing Conservatory opened in 1978, a new musical era began. The five interviewed each attended the Beijing school.

The film won many international awards, including the prestigeous Grand Prix of Visions du R?el in Nyon, Switzerland, the Grand Prize Ethos Bacao (Romania), and the Best Discovery Documentary, Festival Du Nouveau Cinema in Montreal. It also was nominated for best feature-length documentary at the Dutch Film Festival.

Director Eline Flipse
Scenario Eline Flipse
Photography Erik van Empel
Editor Jan Langeveld, Kirsten Lenk
Sound Menno Euwe
Music Mo Wuping, Guo Wenjing, Tan Dun, Qu Xiaosong, Chen Qigang

Flipse, Eline
Copyright Holder
80 min.
Year of release
Chinese, Dutch, English

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