visual anthropology

spring wind will bring life again
A film by Amelia Bryne

Working as a market analyst for the automotive industry, I read about China everyday. I traveled to Beijing and Shanghai with a company looking to invest in China. I decided to learn Mandarin. Returning to Beijing, I spent three months on the city’s buses and in homes, visiting parks, Amway sales parties, grocery stores, and suburbs to make the film. I spoke with people, Chinese and foreign, about their lives, change in the world, and their senses of the future. I am concerned about the human relationship between China, and my country, the US.

Color + B&W / USA / 42 min / 2007

spring wind will bring life again premiered at the Anthology Film Archives in 2009 as part of the New Filmmakers series.

Description of the film's structure:

"This non-fiction film can be seen as a kind of ‘map’ of contemporary Beijing, which proceeds as a zoom from the global, to the city, to the individual. Specifically, the first part of the film focuses on the world at large and the economic and political relationship between the USA and China, and the second reveals the city itself, focusing on everyday categories like traffic, crowds, restaurants, grocery stores, bars, TV, etc. The final section of the film tells the story of a woman who, like hundreds of thousands of others, was displaced from the center of the city (to a new suburb) when her home was torn down in the effort by the government to modernize Beijing and present it for the 2008 Olympics."

-- Quote excerpted from: "Mapping Globalization: A Conversation between a Filmmaker and a Cartographer" The Cartographic Journal Vol. 46 No. 4 pp. 372–378 Art & Cartography Special Issue, November 2009.

Comments on spring wind will bring life again:

“Your film made me think about it for days after viewing it, I’m so glad to have something which shows so well so many Beijing impressions, the cranes, the brands, the cars…”

“I liked your use of black and silence/negative space as structural elements. This seemed gutsy and worked very well, getting and holding my attention right from the start as it was unusual. But also from the start was the effective use of text, partly as a visual motif, and the mix of two languages which was really enjoyable (I don’t speak any Mandarin, so that text and narration became abstract visual/sound which was very interesting, mixing with the more direct ‘meaning’ in the English). I also really enjoyed the use of certain words recurring as structural anchors, or beats.”

“Our mutual friend gave me a copy of your documentary when he was staying in Manhattan around New Years. I just wanted to say that it is a great piece of art that leaves quite an impression. The first time I saw it was with him in a five star hotel — the contrast was really quite overwhelming for me at the time. I’ve been showing it with similar results.”