Rock Heart Beijing (dir. Karen Winther, 2008, 58 min) is a revealing and often funny documentary that follows one of the Chinese Mainland’s foremost rock bands, Subs – fronted by petite but fissile Kang Mao – as it tours China and Nordic Europe. It shows the band struggling with poverty, sexism, familial scorn, government censorship, and the pursuit of an endlessly redefined notion of freedom. Through the film, China is shown as a place – like contemporary Russia, perhaps – where rock and roll has yet to lose its subversive and rebellious character, where musicians strive for more than fame and fortune.
Rock Heart Beijing will be presented by Jonathan Campbell. From 2000-2010 he lived in Beijing where he worked as a drummer, agent, and chronicler of the local rock scene. His book Red Rock: The Long, Strange March of Chinese Rock & Roll (2011) tells the tale of the rise and development of “yaogun”, a Chinese word for – and take on – rock music.
Free and open to the public.
Sponsored by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU.