The Shoeshinner's Journey

Chine2015 / 76 min
導演:LI Xiaofeng、 JIA Kai

If one day on a noisy street of a city or a dusty road of a remote village in China, you bump into a broken van wrapped in slogans and red flags, with high-pitched patriot songs of the 1960s that hurt your ears, you shouldn’t be surprised. It’s LIU coming for his “Learning From LEI Feng Campaign”.


LIU used to have a good job in the government, but twelve years ago he quit it and left his family behind to promote LEI Feng’s spirit and embarked on a journey that he called “the second long march”. Traveling around the whole country with his old van and few belongings, he is dedicated to the great ambition of establishing a university of Communist International.


The shooting of the film started in 2007 and lasted for seven years. The story unfolds as the protagonist’s journey goes on, a journey that keeps evoking his traumatic past rooted in the Mao’s era, aggravated by his incompatibility with contemporary China. To a certain extent, his personal past and present are intimately intertwined with that of China. The film reveals the subtle relations and the mutual construction between individual and history.