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A FAREWELL SONG

A sudden tragedy compels a group of retired musicians to reflect on their shared past – five decades of remarkable music that has kept them going through hardship and upheaval.

Synopsis

Since 1949, China’s orchestras have been controlled and funded by the government. In the 1990s, state backing was slowly withdrawn and many orchestras closed. Luo Shoucheng, Tu Weigang, Weng Zhenfa and Chen Dawei are well known in the world of Chinese traditional music. But when their orchestra disbanded three years ago, they chose to retire from the state system. By all rights, they should be fading quietly into Shanghai’s cultural backwaters. Instead, they are about to take a leap into the unknown. They are generating new material that will take Chinese music to wider audiences. And they have teamed up with their friend Liu Ying, a virtuoso woodwind performer, to prepare a major new concert outside of government control. As the event draws near, a sudden tragedy compels them to reflect on their shared past – five decades of remarkable music that has kept them going through hardship and upheaval.

 

In Chinese with English subtitles.
 

"A beautifully crafted documentary full of insights into Chinese traditional music"
-China Review