It is just a matter of fact that we DO attract a lot of media attention. Just by being what we are and doing the things we do: our nonprofit organization Prop Roots and the story of my long connection to the Jingpo/Zaiwa area (China-Myanmar borderland). We have never lobbied for being filmed or reported about, nor for the publication of any of our articles. (We have never paid NOR received any money for these affairs either.) The attention is a bit overwhelming and sometimes a bit too energy-consuming. Offers by mediocre directors or magazines we just reject, regardless of their scale or popularity!
Through 2013-14, the young director Xie Mengqian and her team came to our village and our Prop Roots House for several periods, to shoot for what is now the third major documentary about us. She works for China Central TV, but also spends a lot of her own time and money in order to achieve optimum quality.
“Summer of Life” (景颇夏天) is a series, in fact. Its first 4 parts have already been shown on the country’s documentary channel CCTV-9 in March 2015, and are now on-line!
Parts 1 and 2 are touching stories about our young Jingpo friends (without overtly mentioning us or Prop Roots). Parts 3 and 4 introduce my wife Li Yang and me, as Prop Roots’ founders.
As an inevitable consequence of cooperating with official media, no mention is made of the local drug epidemic and other severe threats to the local children’s development. (Or at least: not YET.) However, the children’s world of feelings and experiences is depicted in all its richness. And amazing their world is! There is more to life than the adults' fixing and dealing, and we live in an area of breathtaking beauty!
Click here to see stills of “the Making Of” Summer of Life, with portraits of the featuring children.
If you have Facebook, don’t hesitate to add a 'like' to our Prop Roots page.
And now: “Summer of Life” PART ONE,
describing a major event in the lives of a close circle of Jingpo girls, when one of them leaves for a middle school in a far away part of the province, away from her bosom friends and her beloved home area. Shot in the same village as where Prop Roots is established, at its most beautiful, right in the rainy season.
photos (c) Xie Mengqian, except the first pic (c) Anton Lustig