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Follow Your Heart: China's New Youth Movement
89 minutes
English subtitles

Follow Your Heart: China's New Youth Movement

A revealing documentary on the work and life of successful and independent Chinese Hip-Hop artists and their cultural influence in a society rapidly changing from communism to consumerism. Clashing with both traditional Chinese values and new modern ones, these artists believe that Hip-Hop allows for the expression of freedom and being true to oneself. Furthermore, the film describes the high optimism and convictions of this new generation that will inherit a political and economic superpower. Part of the H2ONewsreel collection.
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"This documentary film looks at a graffiti artist and several independent Hip Hop artists who embrace a genuine meaning that they have found in the true tradition of these art forms. Intolerant of commercialization or stereotypical expectations, these artists seek to express their freedom, emotions, beliefs, and experiences with other Chinese youth through music, dance and graffiti... Generational differences and traditional values and culture are at odds with the lifestyle that these artists have chosen as evidenced by parental views, but there is also an understanding and appreciation for the freedom and opportunities that continue to open up to the young people of China along with concerns for their future and ability to transition to adult responsibilities. No one is quite sure where all of this is heading but they are full of hope and they are enjoying the ride... The young people are articulate and provided interesting perspectives and thought provoking opinions and attitudes about the new youth movement in China and questions about the future. This is a well done, energetic and colorful documentary that would provide students and teachers with many jumping off points for discussion on youth culture, consumerism, China, hip hop, and more." - Karen Coronado, Educational Media Reviews Online
"Duncan Jepson's documentary FOLLOW YOUR HEART details the challenges involved in bringing the distinctively American hip-hop culture into contemporary Chinese society." - P. Hall, Video Librarian
"…A fascinating look at an emerging trend among China's millennial generation. This trend, which borrows heavily from hip hop and other American youth culture movements, is not yet dominant among young Chinese, but FOLLOW YOUR HEART offers hints that its day will come -- and in the not-too-distante future. …For many viewers, the break with the Maoist past will appear so stark that it may be difficult to believe. But it is real and this is a side of China that deserves to be known, given some of the stereotypical views of this country that so many outsiders have." - Robert L. Moore, Asian Educational Media Service

• Best Documentary, Urban Mediamakers Film Festival
• Official Finalist Award, Las Vegas International Film Festival
• Hawaii International Film Festival
• San Diego Asian Film Festival
• New Beijing International Movie Week
• Bayou Film Festival, Houston
• Black Soil Festival, The Netherlands
• Tiger Far East Film Festival, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

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TWN is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Color Congress, MOSAIC, New York Community Trust, Peace Development Fund, Ford Foundation, Golden Globe Foundation, Kolibri Foundation and individual donors.