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Posted on Thu, Oct 21, 2010 : 6:12 a.m.

Wu Wenguang's 'At Home in the World' documentary film being shown Saturday

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

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Wu Wenguang's documentary film about five Beijing artists, "At Home in the World"

During the University of Michigan’s LSA ChinaNow Theme Year, 2007-2008, Wu Wenguang’s film "Bumming in Beijing: The Last Dreamers" was shown to great applause at the Michigan Theater. It was followed by a conversation with the filmmaker, who is considered to be one of the founding figures of Chinese independent documentary. The film examines the lives and art of five Beijing artists who reject their state-assigned jobs and housing security to pursue their artistic vision.

At 7 p.m. Oct. 23 at Angell Hall Auditorium A, the University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies Chinese Film Series will be showing "At Home in the World", another Wenguang film which follows up on the five Beijing artists featured in "Bumming in Beijing" to see where they are years later. The film is in Mandarin with English subtitles.

From the University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies:

A sequel to Wu Wenguang's film "Bumming in Beijing" (CCS Film Event - Fall 2007), "At Home in the World" follows five of the Beijing artists featured in the original film who are now scattered to the four corners of the world. An intimate depiction of their expectations, anxieties and the contradictions that frame their choices, and how these experiences have shaped their lives.

Director Wu Wenguang (born 1956 in Yunnan) is an independent documentary filmmaker. He is known internationally as one of the founding figures of Chinese independent documentary. His first film, "Bumming in Beijing: The Last Dreamers", was unique in that it featured a large amount of handheld camera work and unscripted interviews. This was a stark contrast to Chinese documentaries produced previously, which were generally carefully planned and controlled. Other films by him include "My Time in Red Guard" (1993), "Jiang Hu: Life on the Road" (1999), "Dance with Farm Workers" (2001), "Your Name is Outlander" (2003).

The film is free and open to the public.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Ann Arbor and the Big Island of Hawaii. She is editor of Asian American Village, lead multicultural contributor for, and a contributor for New America Media's Ethnoblog. She is a popular speaker on Asian Pacific American and multicultural issues. Check out her website at, her blog at, and she can be reached at