The poetry of China Me
“Michka Saäl explains the choice of Mary Stephen as editor: ‘Because the films she has directed are poetic, and she understands what I want to do.’
“The film transports the viewer into a tangible reality, experienced by a billion Chinese, through the poems of Zhai Yong Ming, poems that ‘she writes after reading the morning papers’, says Michka Saäl.
“This poet is well known in China for poems inspired by headlines that are often violent and that therefore reflect on the soul of Chinese society. The director was determined to meet her, literally holding a siege at her bar in Chengdu. Despite the language barriers, the two women discovered a shared sensibility.
“From this meeting was born the idea of having Zhai Yong Ming read some of her poems in the hope that this would weave a thread through the film. And indeed she accomplishes this gracefully.
“’I think that film and poetry, and art in general, are vital for people, even those who have nothing or in the most tragic of moments,’” says Michka Saäl. ‘Who reads poets? Sales of poetry books are almost nil! And yet poetry is so important. The poems of Zhai Young Ming are almost manifestos.’”
Interview with Guilhem Brouillet, rue 89