A Gentrification Rift Explored in South Fujian Drama ‘Half-Meter’

A sudden construction boom nearly demolishes the relationship between two childhood friends. That’s the story of a new short film entitled; “Half-Meter.” The Chinese drama, which comes to us courtesy of filmmaker Zebang Yang, is a short film.

China — A sudden construction boom nearly demolishes the relationship between two childhood friends. That’s the story of a new short film entitled; “Half-Meter.” The Chinese drama, which comes to us courtesy of filmmaker Zebang Yang, is a short film. Whose story is told entirely in Hokkien (Min Nan). A language exclusive to the people of China’s Southern Fujian region. Yang, a native of the area, who also wrote the short, set out to paint the most accurate picture possible of the province. Which he’d committed to memory from his days growing up there. “Half Meter” follows Guo and Pao. Two young men who grew up together in the South Fujian countryside.

Practically inseparable, the two find their once thought to be unbreakable bond tested, when developers move in, and begin razing the brick built familial homes of its local denizens. Raising more modern structures in its place. The attempt at streamlining the territory pits neighbor against neighbor. But the movie’s main focus, is on characters Guo and Pao, as they try and navigate the changes in their community, in hopes of steering the upheaval towards a positive result. That allows their town to keep some semblance of its history. And the two friends, to salvage their relationship.

Synopsis: In a small town, there lived Guo and Pao. Childhood friends who almost lost their friendship due to a half – meter conflict during the construction of new homes. But fate had other plans, and a new friendship bloomed. This tale is a snapshot of the Southern countryside, where population growth led to the demolition of old brick-and-tile houses and the construction of small buildings, causing conflict among neighbors. Building new homes, once a happy event, became a source of tension, and the harmony between neighbors was lost.

Thus far, “Half Meter” has made the rounds at multiple film-related events. Having earned a featured spot in the Shanghai International Film Festival’s “International Short Film,” gallery. And more recently, appearing at the Tokyo Lift-Off Film Festival. The picture was produced by Yixuan Qi, alongside actors Donghui Cai, and Yanping Chen.

About Zebang Yang

As a grassroots independent artist. Yang’s work is a testament to the importance of supporting emerging filmmakers and nurturing their talent.

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