It felt good having been able to take the chance to ask a question to the producer, Isabelle Glachant, of Sueños de Shanghai (Shanghai Dreams), Isabelle Glachant. I have watched the film in the not so distant past and loved it. The Director is Chinese, Wang Xiaoshuai, and production was in China. But the film, winning in Cannes in 2005, showed the social turmoil in the provinces of China that you dream a life in Shanghai, where you can be freer. It never showed Shanghai, it was just mentioned in the aspirations of the family to get out of highly Red China, an indirect commentary on human rights issues and living in a communist environment.
I was amazed if it did not get harrassment, even during shoot and even after production and application for screening through censors, in China. But, Isabelle said that it did get screened in China.
I made a comparison with another film that I also loved which is Water, by Indian Director, Deepa Mehta. It came out the same year as Shanghai Dreams. Because it tackled the social treatment of widows back in India, I learned that production was harrassed in India that they stopped the shoot. The film was revived and was shot anew, in Sri Lanka. That time, it was not allowed screening in India, and the female director, who then was Indian Canadian, was banned in India. But the film went ahead to the OSCARS representing Canada.
I asked this under the discussion on Asian Films to the European Market during the Film Industry Conference.
We, Filipinos, may want to reflect that our films are appreciated by audiences abroad, especially our independent productions but we ourselves do not go on our way to support them. Our filmmakers end up trying to float and survive from getting broke in pursuit of art.
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