Documentary films about the Hani/Akha


Soul of the Corn- Documentary film: (guhun) - 33 min - 2008

Directed by: Meilan and Lu Bin

The film depicts the last places where the Hani people still cultivate fallow lands with the traditional slash and burn method. The director, himself a Hani and a painter started painting all the process of the slash and burn cycle.

Director: Yang Gangcai and Yang Yi (China)
Run time: 140'
Language: Akha with English subtitles

This film concerns a small group of Akha who in 1996 relocated to the village of Mandang to escape disease and the bad luck brought on by inauspicious birth of twins. Here they lived in complete isolation until 2001 when a border patrol road was built. Shot over three years, 2001-2004, this film shows the radical transformation that followed, as traditional houses were demolished and electricity was installed. The villagers' self-mockery and humour gives rise to much tension and agitation in the film. A new era begins for the village, and the old one will never return.

Yang Gancai (born 1956) and Wang Yi (born 1964) are a married couple. By profession both are freelance journalists deeply committed to chronicling the 'disappearing worlds' of Chinese ethnic minorities. To make this film, they lived for four years amongst the Madang Akha and shot over 100 hours of rushes.

More about this film:

Distant Sun on the Akha (2006) - 51'
Director: Kuo Yu-i - China - 51'

Life in the cities and countryside in Akha country, not far from the Burmese border, in China's Yunnan province. A logbook featuring some remarkable scenes of shamanist sessions in spontaneous situations.

Hani Textile Arts in Jinping (2005) - 29 min

Directors: He Yuan, Wang Jing. Production: Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences, Community Development Research Center

The art of Hani embroidery, traditionally passed down through generations of Hani women, is slowly vanishing. The film documents the process of the textile art, while also featuring the Hani women¡¯s thoughts regarding this disappearing art form.

Written and directed by David A. Feingold.
Produced by Dean W. Slotar and David A. Feingold of OPHIDIAN FILMS Ltd.

TRADING WOMEN follows the trade of women in all its complexity, entering the worlds of brothel owners, trafficked girls, voluntary sex-workers, corrupt police and anxious politicians. The film also explores the international community's response to the issue.
The culmination of five years of field research, TRADING WOMEN is the first film to demonstrate to viewers the relationship of the trade in drugs to the trade of women. The film dispels common beliefs about the sex trade, such as: "The problem is the parents - it's part of their culture to sell their daughters;" "The sex trade exists because of Western sex tours;" and "They sell their girls for TV's."

More info:

Akha (Hani) New Year: Gatangpa- 2003 - 20 min

Directors, Photography: Zeng Yiqun, Lu Bin. Original animation drawing: Mei Lanq
Producion, Source: CBIK (Center for Biodiversity and Indigenous Knowledge)

¡°Gatangpa¡± is the name of the Hani tribe¡¯s New Year¡¯s festival which has not been held since the Cultural Revolution. Mei Lanq, a young Hani man, uses animation to recreate the Gatangpa festival while incorporating indigenous knowledge acquired through interviews with elder members of the Hani tribe. Through the use of this new approach, the film attempts to impart the significance of the tribe¡¯s lost traditions to the next generation

Produced by Yellow Cat Productions and Sharon Hainsfurther.
Publisher: Watertown, Mass. : Documentary Educational Resources. 26 min.
Director, Sharon Hainsfurther; writers, Mary Flannery, Sharon Hainsfurther.
Narrator, Mary Flannery.

This documentary describes their origins and their culture. It contains extraordinary footage of a shaman healing ceremony; a funeral, with the ritual sacrifice of a water buffalo ; the reading of a pig's liver after a new house is built, and more.

Directed: Manu Luksh

Virtual Borders tells the story of an Akha village headman, Abaw Buseuv, who goes in a journey from Thailand to China. He is accompanied by a Akha radio broadcaster and the filmmaker. Their aim is to attend the gathering of the Akha people and to transmit discussions about their situation and future of the Akha people to remote mountain villages.
90 min with English subtitles.

More info:

Directed: Zhou Yuejun
Yunnan TV

Returns to a village of the Hani ethnic minority in order to recreate actual experiences of making an ethnographic program there. This village in the mountains receives many visitors who come to film the beautiful terraced rice paddies and the villagers in their traditional ethnic dress as they go about their farming. In return for filming a single water buffalo, the locals demand compensation. This work illustrates how television companies and the tourist industry have comfortably "paid" for their filming subjects over the years, and consequently warped the financial values of one community.
The finished docudrama received high praise, and was subsequently purchased and broadcast by Kunming Television. But after it was broadcast even more people flocked to the village to film there, and some even offered to subsidize the educational expenses of the youths who appeared in the program. It appears as though this will provide further fuel for discussion about the influence and merits and demerits of the media.

More info:

Back to Hani main page

© Copyright 2007


Buy books related to China Ethnic Groups and help to develop this web