Film Image
Mask: A Field Report on Masked Performance
2000
Color
120 minutes
China
Chinese
English Subtitles
Mask: A Field Report on Masked Performance
Since the time of the Qing Dynasty, villagers of Xiaotun have performed a folk opera in which all the actors wear masks. Known as the “Guansuo Opera”, its performances were suspended during the Cultural Revolution, and its script was burned. In 1980, through the approval of the local government, it started to perform again. “Mask” records the various antagonisms and attitudes amongst villagers, performers, village and county officials, local cultural researchers and filmmakers. More significantly, it reveals the cultural confrontation between “the observed” in the village and the filmmaking crew.
Reviews
"A bewildering amalgam of tradition, ingenuity and expediency, as seemingly ingenuous townsfolk take on the media" - Ronnie Scheib, Variety
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