Bumming in Beijing: The Last Dreamers (1990)

Independent Chinese documentary by Wu Wenguan following and interviewing a group of young artists around the time of the events Tiananmen about their lives and careers.


Wenguang Wu


Wenguang Wu


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Credited cast:
Bo Gao Bo Gao
Sen Mou Sen Mou
Dali Zhang Dali Zhang
May May Ci Zhang May May Ci Zhang
Xiaping Zhang Xiaping Zhang


Shot before and shortly after the Tiananmen Square massacre, Wu Wenguang?s 1990 video ushered in a new documentary style in China, focusing on urban issues and operating outside the cultural bureaucracy. The five young artists he profiles-a writer, a photographer, two painters, and a director of avant-garde theater-reject a life tethered to the government yet still hope to modernize the urban cultural scene; their frank ruminations about life, art, and the future are punctuated by groundbreaking verite shots of people doing their chores in squalid back alleys and studio apartments. Wu funded the film himself, using a camcorder to capture his subjects at work and at play, and unlike government propagandists he eschews music and voice-over narration for an intimate naturalism akin to Frederick Wiseman?s. Most revealing is Wu?s portrayal of Zhang Xia Ping, a feisty feminist painter who suffers a mental breakdown; her delirious outburst is the first such episode to be documented in ... Written by Ted Shen

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Release Date:

1990 (China) See more »

Filming Locations:

Beijing, China

Company Credits

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Wu Wenguang See more »
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