Berlinale Shorts competition-
Rao Yi Sheng Doctor Rao
Director: Alexej Tchernyi & Wu Zhi
it will be shown
Tue, Feb 15 16:00 CinemaxX 5
Wed, Feb 16 17:45 Colosseum 1
Thu, Feb 17 22:00 CinemaxX 3
Alexej Tchernyi, filmmaker/animator (USSR 1976) & Wu Zhi, painter (P.R.China, 1972) are an artists couple, living and working in Berlin.
One night last year, they wake up to a terrible news: Wu's Father (Dr. Rao) suffered a cardiac infarction and went into a coma. He onlyhad few days left to live.
The couple and their 1½ year old son immediately took a flight to China in order to reach Dr. Rao alive.
Dr. Rao has three children, six brothers and sisters. Each one of them has their own children. This big family came together from different parts of the world to pay their last respects to the eldest family member.
Dr. Rao died on 29th of September 2010.
The funeral ceremony in Sichuan, Southwest China, lasted two days and two nights and was recorded in a rather unconventional way: 5.957 single photo shots, combined to a 7 minutes short film. It shows the funeral of an ordinary Chinese man, surrounded by his family. One witnesses the enshrined body, the cremation of the deceased and the immediate handing over afterwards of his remains to the family members. The film provides a very intimate perspective on contemporary Chinese culture, where Taoist burial rites are blended with modern secular customs. The process brings to mind a theatre performance with stage, acting and scenery, embodying the transition from the living to the death.