Feature: Chinese documentaries shown in Chicago in celebration of Chinese New Year
CHICAGO, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- About 100 people gathered in the Claudia Cassidy Theater of the Cultural Center in downtown Chicago on Saturday to watch four short documentary films about Chinese culture and photography.
Asian Pop-Up Cinema, a semi-annual Asian film festival, presented the program, which was part of the citywide Chinese New Year celebration in the third largest city of the United States.
"This is our fifth year to participate in the citywide Chinese New Year celebration," said Sophia Wong Boccio, founder of the film festival.
The four documentaries showcased were selected from the "Wonder of China" documentary series. "They were produced by the China Broad View Cultural Communication Center in Beijing," Boccio told Xinhua.
Each 30 minutes, the four documentary films present different cultures and landscapes in China.
"Wudang Tai Chi" is about Taoism-derived Chinese martial art that emphasizes not only Kung Fu movements, but also the harmony between humanity and nature, whereas "The Legend of Shadow Puppetry" is about the shadow puppetry art that has been passed on for generations.
"Amazing Music from Nature" showcases Khoomei, a traditional Mongolian art of singing. In the film, multi-ethnic young musicians combined modern folk elements with Khoomei technique, forming a new musical style. Their music powerfully illustrates Mongolian nature and the nomadic lifestyle.
"Yarlung Zanpo Grand Canyon" presents a group of Chinese wildlife photographers who went to the most inaccessible canyon and photographed more than 800 wild species and the beautiful landforms in Tibet.
"I attend many Chinese New Year celebration activities," said 71-year-old Kam Liu, a veteran in the Chicago Chinese community. "This is so different and beautiful."
"I love the shadow puppetry," said Adam Para of Chicago.
Para said that he had been to China many times, but this was the first time he was exposed to the art of shadow puppetry. Para showed a texted message on his cell phone from his 20-year-old granddaughter who said she had attended a Chinese New Year celebration in London. "We love celebrating Chinese New Year," he said, laughing.
"I'm stunned by the beauty of the photographs," said 49-year-old Guillermo Morales who came from Chili and lives in Chicago now. "The wildlife and sceneries the photographers were able to capture are amazing."
"I find the Mongolian musicians most amazing," said Martin Montoya, a friend of Morales. "The singing is so dynamic and powerful."
The Chinese Consulate General in Chicago provided stuffed animals, books and other items as raffle awards for the attendees of the event.
Jessica Peterson, 43, who was visiting Chicago from Minneapolis, was among 10 lucky winners of the raffle awards.
"This is a happy rat," she said, raising two identical stuffed red rats in her hands. "My 10-year-old son would love them."
The citywide Chinese New Year celebration in Chicago started on Jan. 25 and will last till Feb. 9. Programs include a variety of performances, parades, special events and hands-on art-making activities.