Named 2011 Movie-of-the-Year by China’s progressive Southern Metropolitan Daily for “returning fuller memories and humanity to Chinese history,” Datong: The Great Society focuses on modern China’s first major utopian philosopher and constitutional reformer, Kang Youwei (Liu Kai Chi). After the Qing government’s bloody crackdown on the political reform he initiated in 1889, Kang and his daughter Tung Pih (Lindzay Chan) fled into 16 years of exile, including residence on a Swedish island. Evans Chan’s docu-drama recounts Kang’s epic struggle for China’s modernization as well as for his dream of Datong — the Chinese utopia. Stockholm-based actress-choreographer Chiang Ching narrates and Mary Stephen edits. (In English, Chinese, and French with English and Chinese subtitles)
Chinese film scholar Michael Berry has called Evans Chan “one of the most singularly innovative and diverse figures in the Chinese cultural world in the last 15 years.” Chan’s award-winning films – four narrative features and five documentaries – have been shown at the Berlin, Rotterdam, London, Moscow, Montreal, and Taiwan Golden Horse film festivals, among others. He has also published three books of essays in Chinese, and is the editor/translator into Chinese of three books by Susan Sontag. Eros, Angst and Exile, a critical anthology about Chan’s works edited by Tony Williams, is forthcoming from the Hong Kong University Press. Time Out Hong Kong this year has listed Chan’s directorial debut To Liv(e) 浮世戀曲 as one of the 100 Greatest Hong Kong Films.