Missing Home is a documentary that explores the affects of modernization on the people of China- specifically its effects on the culture & lives of people living in Hutongs, Beijing’s ancient sprawling alleys.
Feature: MISSING HOME - the Last Days of Beijing Hutongs
Fri, Aug 1st at 7:30
Coastside Senior Housing/Senior Coastsiders facility
925 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA
Hutongs, which date to the Yuan Dynasty (1206-1341), have long been regarded as the heart and soul of Beijing. They are chock-a-block with family homes and crammed with countless small shops and restaurants, but are now disappearing at a prodigious rate as Beijing modernizes. It is estimated that 80% of these revered ancient alleyways have been plowed under in the last decade, displacing close to 580,000 souls. Few of the displaced residents have reaped the prosperity that was promised to accompany modernization – most face more economic struggles than ever before.
Although the loss of the historic architecture is significant, it is perhaps more important to note the loss of an ancient social network of neighbors and friends, of spirit & culture that have defined the way of life in Beijing for centuries of generations. A collective way of life is being edged out by sterile high-rises, which are rapidly inundating the spaces Hutongs once filled. This displacement & replacement stands at the heart of an increasingly controversial dialogue about progress and modernization in China: How can the China of the future balance the preservation of culturally & historically significant traditions & sites, while building a global city?