Soon after the Chinese New Year holiday in mid-February, a Christian director released his autobiographical documentary themed “social pressure to marry”, filmed over 10 years.
“The 10-year filming consisted of three initial years of taking photos, and the rest of shooting videos. After 60 days, it has been edited into a film of 95 minutes. This is my story with the documentary ‘Flight of the Honeybees’, my story with parents and relatives as well as the true story of being pushed to get married by my family and relatives. It adopts listening as its documenting style, so the director is both a listener and a recorder”, said its director Geng Haiyang.
During the Spring Festival of 2010, Geng Haiyang, a Christian director, began to take photos casually when back to his hometown in northern Jiangsu Province, shooting scenes of rural areas, busy parents, kinsfolks making the rounds, and people going to a fair.
He filmed the story of his parents from the Chinese New Year of 2014 until 2020.
In the story that includes the holiday customs and country fairs, his parents shared with him how their village changed each year.
After COVID-19 broke out in early 2020, the 95-minute-long documentary, “Flight of the Honeybees”, was completed in three months.
Frames of his hometown’s transformation, Chinese Lunar Year custom legacy, and rural local dramas, all showcased the new year atmosphere.
Nagging from his parents is one of features. He said, “As a listener and additionally a recorder, I make a record of everything. When they were pushing me to marry, they recounted a dozen of real people and real stories around them. The topics they covered entailed more than marriage itself. There were several topics concerning rural society.”
“The issue of being pressured to get married is more than just marriage itself. In a sincere and authentic attitude, the film presents you with deep stories and social concerns behind people who are single and above the society's median age of marriage; being forced to get married under the multi-faceted rural social pattern. I, being one of the victims, believe more people will empathize with us after watching the film; I expect it to bring more comfort and soul healing to like-minded people”, he revealed.
During this year’s Spring Festival, he opened the film to the public free of charge.
“As the pandemic is not yet over during the holiday, many people chose to stay in their current places of residence. I think some of them have encountered situations similar to mine. I would like to share my story with them, hoping it can bring them a bit of comfort.”
- Translated by Karen Luo