UCCA Beijing

UCCA Art Film Screening Series Lantern Cine-Club: Bumming in Beijing


Cinema Arts
Location:  Auditorium
Language:  Chinese without subtitles

In the early '80s group of us who had artistic ambitions left behind steady work and comfortable homes to go and live in Beijing. I knew that, sooner or later, our period of living as bohemians might end, so I should get to work and record some of it with a camera. That was my motivation in making this film. Friends helped out with shooting the movie, and I was able to borrow equipment from various people. After Zhang Ci, friends like Zhang Lida, Gao Bo, Mou Sen and Zhang Xiaping all found a place in the movie.

At the beginning of 1990 I was in my hometown Kunming at a friend's editing room doing final editing work, and only then I came up with the name Bumming in Beijing. The people in this film led lives similar to mine, filled with hope and disappointment, misery and happiness, innocence and savagery. After the movie was finished, the eighties came to an end as well. For some young people in China, it meant the end of an era and a certain romantic dream, and the approach of a new, utterly different decade.

Written by Wu Wenguang in January 1991

Since June 2017, UCCA has cooperated with Lantern Cine-Club to present one outstanding Asian film every month. Past film screenings have included The City of Mirrors: A Fictional Biography by Vietnamese director Truong Minh Quy, Turah by Indonesian director Wicaksono, Snakeskin by Singaporean director Daniel Hui, and Time to Read Poems by Korean director Lee Soojung, The Return by Singaporean director Green Zeng, Yokohama Mary by Japanese director Nakamura Takayuki. In December, UCCA will be screening Chinese director Wu Wenguang’s Bumming in Beijing, selected for the Berlin International Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival and so on. UCCA will also be inviting the film’s cinematographer to give a talk at the Center.


30 RMB /Adult

20 RMB / UCCA member


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About the Film

Bumming in Beijing

Director: Wu Wenguang

Category: Documentary Film

Country: Chinese

Runtime: 70 minutes

This documentary records a period in the lives of five artists living in Beijing during the late ‘80s: the writer Zhang Ci, the photographer Gao Bo, the painters Zhang Dali and Zhang Xiaping and the theatre director Mou Sen, hailing from places like Yunnan, Shenzhen or Heilongjiang. Some leave their jobs and move to Beijing, while others decide to stay in Beijing after graduation. Though the paths they walk are different, each has the same dream of making it as an artist.


Wu Wenguang:

Documentarian, dramatist, writer. He is the director of numerous documentaries, including Bumming in Beijing, 1966: My Life in the Red Guards, Jianghu: Life on the Road, Bare Your Stuff, Treatment, Investigating Father, as well as plays such Hunger for Memory and Hunger for Reading. Wu’s publications include Revolution Grounds 1966, Report from Jianghu and The Lens is Like an Eye. He planned and organized the “Villagers Film Project” in 2005 and the “Memory Project” in 2010, a series of Chinese oral histories that was presented at Gwangju Biennale (2010), the Venice Biennale (2015) and in the Madrid Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía's "Body, Memory, Archive" special research group (2017).


Lu Wangping:

Lu Wangping graduated in 1984 from the Beijing Broadcasting Institute at the department of TV studies with a major in filmmaking. In August of 1984 he started working at CCTV, where he has remained until the present. In 1986, he shot and produced a documentary about the tenth generation Panchen Lama’s tour through Western China. In 1988, he helped make the documentary-style tribute to the 40th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, an inaugural film in the New Documentary movement of the '80s. Bumming in Beijing, shot in the period between 1988 and 1990, is now considered one of the movement’s representative works. In 1993 he worked on the production and broadcasting of the TV show, Oriental Horizons, and the creation of the show, Life Space, which would be a major influence on later short documentaries’ shift in focus to the lives of ordinary people. In 1994 he independently shot the long documentary, The Story of Wang Laobai, which was nominated for the 20th Hawaii International Film festival Golden Maile Award. In 1997, he shot Documentary Studios’ documentary series, “Portraying an Era.” Apart from this, he had a role in the creation of the biopics Zhou Enlai and Zhang Wentian, films which earned him the the Five-One Project Award.


Lantern Cine-Club

Founded in 2015, Lantern Cine-Club has screened more than a hundred independent films and invited several directors, along with their film teams, to share insight into their creative processes. After being brought “on scene” for firsthand experience of the production process, audiences develop a deeper understanding of the context around each film.

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16:30-17:40 Film Screening

17:40-18:40 Q&A