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04 March1979
China is Near
Francesco Corsini
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

1979 saw a new phase of reform and economic growth in China, approved by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. The recipe for growth consists of opening up to the market economy and aiming to integrate into the international economy. The trip filmed by Francesco Corsini is precisely the first in a series of business trips to the great Asian country by the foreign trade agent of a multinational manufacturer of precision electronic machines. In early March, Corsini is in Beijing and, with his camera, takes the opportunity to document what he sees (of which we show three significant excerpts). Filming from a running car, Corsini films the streets of Beijing, the people and the means of transport, being struck by the many men and women whizzing by on bicycles and catching perhaps by chance columns of military vehicles (could it be the ongoing Vietnam war between brothers?). The second excerpt is on Tiananmen Square between the government palace, and the blow-ups of Lenin and Stalin (which who knows if they will still fit the new course), and the entrance to the Forbidden City over which stands the effigy of Mao who, having died just over two years ago, continues to keep watch. Finally, the Great Wall, which closes the excerpts representing a gigantic country that, between openings and closures, we will always perceive at the same time as so distant and so close.