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Beijing Taxi cover photo

Beijing Taxi 2010

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Three Waters Productions, 59 Newell St., #3R, Brooklyn, NY 11222; 917-450-4124
Produced by Miao Wang
Directed by Miao Wang
DVD, color, 88 min.

Sr. High - Adult
Asian Studies, China, Geography, Photography, Travel and Tourism, Urban Studies

Date Entered: 04/22/2011

Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

Set against the backdrop of China’s capital, this visually stunning documentary follows the lives of three local cab drivers as the city prepares for the 2008 Summer Olympics. In the midst of massive construction projects that transform the city’s landscape, the drivers each represent a different generation in a metropolis rushing towards modernization. Bai Jiwen, a former member of the Red Guard with a 4th grade education looks forward to retirement; Zhou Yi enjoys getting away from the streets of Beijing to fish with his father and friends; and Wei Caixia is a mother who has high hopes for her young daughter in the new economy. All are fully aware that the social and economic upheaval taking place around them has both very personal along with broad global implications.

The cinematography, original music score and editing all combine perfectly to showcase the frenetic energy, movement, and buoyancy of contemporary Beijing. The film, which debuted at the SXSW 2010 Film Festival, is currently receiving wide distribution at independent film events in North America and Europe.

Bonus DVD features include a commercial trailer, film and production stills and a motion-activated flipbook, along with a charming 2-minute video of Yao Yao, a young city boy who appears briefly in the full-length film. Like the city at its center, Beijing Taxi is an eye-opening experience that viewers cannot help but enjoy. Highly recommended.