Beijing Besieged by Waste Icarus Films

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WHY I SELECTED THIS FILM, Beijing Besieged By Waste exposes the largely hidden and unknown dark. side of the lights glamour and architectural brilliance of rapidly developing. Beijing as it becomes an international city Wang reveals the lack of strategy. and foresight in dealing with the concomitant waste that now surrounds the. city poisons essential and scarce natural resources and fosters a dystopic. landscape where some rural people still try to eke out a living The film. effectively calls attention to an ecological and social crisis that daily grows. more desperate,Ken Berthel, Assistant Professor of This documentary on the growing ecological disaster that results from this. Chinese Whittier College rampant dumping of waste in the greater Beijing metropolitan area will find. relevance in a number of courses on topics as varied as environmental. studies sociology anthropology urban studies and film among others. SUGGESTED SUBJECT AREAS,History Media Studies,Anthropology Geography. Political Science Ethnography,Environmental Science Urban Studies. THE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE FOCUS OF THE FILM, The film highlights a subculture of rural people who displaced by lack of.
economic viability in their native regions yet unable to obtain government. permission to live in the city seek to make a life among the toxic and foul. waste dumps that surround Beijing The failure to develop the city of Beijing. in a manner that responsibly deals with the problem of waste management. has created an ecological and social disaster that creates a stark and. alarming disparity between those who live in the cosmopolitan luxury of. Beijing s new developments and those who inhabit its fetid and dystopic. BACKGROUND, This is an early effort by the same filmmaker who directed Plastic China. though this film uses Wang s work as a photographer more centrally. Additionally it has more of a journalistic reportage style than the. narrative style we see in Plastic China,KEY LOCATIONS AND PERSONS. Beijing China,Wang Jiuliang photographer and filmmaker. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS, 1 What aspects of this film have the most impact in telling the story The. film has a more journalistic reportage style than a narrative style How. might this have been a different film if it had focused more on following the. lifestyles of one or two of the people we see inhabiting the dump sites. 2 Beijing s waste problem arises alongside its economic development and. expansion Must development necessarily lead to an increase in waste. 3 One factor that seems to exacerbate the waste management problem in. Beijing is a culture of neglect and apathy toward the consequences of. dumping toxic materials near water sources How might this social issue be. 4 Another of the fundamental problems seems to be the lack of any long. term plan for managing waste from the city If you were a government. official what plan might you implement to solve this issue. Its focus is clear eyed, and frank The shots 5 What are the conditions that make living in metropolitan area dump sites.
of people working and attractive to some people from rural areas What forces would cause. living in the often people to leave behind presumably cleaner healthier spaces for a life. illegal garbage dumps among urban waste,are routinely heart. 6 What problems or consequences might arise from building new. breaking construction on top of sites that were previously dump sites Might further. Planning Magazine construction not just serve to create even more waste in the future. FILM EXCERPTS, Where time is limited the following excerpts can screened. 0 01 5 30 Intro, 47 07 54 20 Portrait of people raising animals among the waste. QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE EXCERPTS, 1 Images of waste laden foregrounds inhabited by people and grazing. animals with cranes and the skeletons of luxury residential homes not far. beyond suggest not only a stark contrast in people s lifestyles within the. same landscape but also that these two spheres inevitably impact one. another What kind of environmental and social policies could be enacted. now to ensure better lives for all including animals. 2 What response do you have to seeing the lifestyles of the people who use. the urban periphery as an opportunity to make a living off of the castoff. waste of central Beijing How has this footage impacted your understanding. of the social and environmental situation caused by rapid development in. ACTIVITIES, 1 Visit a local landfill and find out how it manages waste Ask about long.
term strategies and solutions in place Find out what future challenges are. anticipated, 2 Challenge the class to make desirable items out of things they otherwise. An example of the would have thrown away or recycled Consider holding a craft fair event. power of cinematic to sell these items to raise money for educational materials or to donate to. reportage in China an appropriate non profit organization. 3 Have students make a documentary film about any local waste. Asian Educational, management problem that they encounter in their lives. Media Service, 4 Volunteer to help remove waste from a local site that attracts litter or. 5 Hold a contest to see which member of the class can go the longest. without creating any waste and have all students reflect on the process of. becoming aware of every bit of trash they were creating and considering. creative ways to avoid doing so,SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL. Learn more about ongoing developments in the Beijing waste management. Land shortage in Beijing adds to problem of disposing city s trash Hui. Fern Tay February 4 2014, The Burning Problem of China s Garbage February 20 2017.
https www npr org sections parallels 2017 02 20 515814016 the. burning problem of chinas garbage, Take a global perspective on the waste crisis Consider the following. View Candida Brady s 2012 documentary Trashed featuring actor. Jeremy Irons for a global perspective on wasteful consumerism and. More people more trash Rethinking waste from New York to Beijing. Steve Cohen May 11 2017, https www greenbiz com article more people more trash rethinking. waste new york beijing, The Zero Waste Solution Untrashing the Planet One Community at a. Time Paul Connett 2014, Consider the connection between consumption and waste. Waste and Want A Social History of Trash Susan Strasser 2000. Garbology Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash Edward Humes 2013. View the 5 minute video that explores Wang Jiuliang s methods of creating. a documentary film by combining work in photography and information. systems https vimeo com 188616955,SCENE LIST, 0 5 Opening sequence Huge landfill with many scavengers trucks dumping.
garbage sheep eating garbage competing with scavengers Wang Jiuliang. a photographer and the NARRATOR takes a picture and narrates Says he. has photographed many landfills Aerial shot of landfill Wang has been to. between 400 and 500 landfills around Beijing Title Beijing Besieged by. 6 14 Garbage collection and activity at the landfill Night time in a landfill a. man gathers paper puts it on his wagon We are on a square a street a. sidewalk the highway apartments office buildings Garbage arrives by. truck and motorcycle Scavengers pick over garbage Beijing generates. 30 000 tons of waste a day, 14 16 Tattered plastic on fences kids dogs pickers NARR Some have. chosen to live close to the landfills, 17 23 Expanding dumps many illegal close to wealthy urban neighborhoods. Images of the dumps, 24 29 Life in the dumps polluted streams does anyone care A wedding party. poses for photos with sheep Wang documents the dumps with a still. camera examines a river bed coated with garbage, 30 33 Farmers try to grow vegetables and raise ducks despite the pollution. WANG they won t drink the water from here but they do eat the. vegetables that are grown using polluted waters Being must import much. of its water, 33 36 Unidentified piles of black substances excrement from buses sewage.
from residential areas No permits Google images show growing expanse. of liquid waste, 37 47 An expanding city construction waste rock quarries and sand mines. Villagers work on building site Police attend the destruction of a building. Scavengers Wang says there are 100 000 in Beijing live and work in. construction areas Many cranes over half built buildings. 47 54 Scavengers in a small settlement Wang phographs sheep and cattle. grazing in garbage Residents raise pigs A woman objects to the camera. 55 60 Metal and plastic scavengers at work Police arrive A woman objects to. being filmed Another shows the house she built and has lived in for ten. years Food is scavenged Woman discusses cost of health care Ostracism. by others A man dies unnoticed is laid to rest in a grave dug in landfill. 61 63 Garbage fires Flames in the night sky smoke Wang says economic. development is priority and nobody gives much thought to the waste. problem Wang digs a hole many men with jackhammers work Men. erect gigantic forms, 64 68 2 thousand residents evicted as a landfill is redeveloped for an exposition. site Trees and corn are planted on top of the landfill. 69 Street level Tiananmen Square Wide shot reveals hundreds of landfill. Beijing Besieged By Waste exposes the largely hidden and unknown dark side of the lights glamour and architectural brilliance of rapidly developing Beijing as it becomes an international city Wang reveals the lack of strategy and foresight in dealing with the concomitant waste that now surrounds the

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