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The Chinese Mayor

Hao Zhou | China


Fast-working mayor Geng Yanbo is on a mission. His goal: to successfully develop the underperforming city of Datong into a cultural hub overnight. Facing pressure from all sides, but primarily from his own pride and conviction, Yanbo rushes the project, leading to a rushed development that forgoes any safety standards.
The resulting errors bear huge impact on the residents of Datong, many of whom are forcibly relocated, their homes razed without alternate living preparations in place. At moments surreal in its portrayal of political ambition at all cost, this entertaining and oft tragic film offers a rare glimpse of insider politics in China.

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Kings of the Wind and Electric Queens

Gaspard Kuentz, Cedric Dupire | France | 56 min


“The name of my stallion is King of the Wind. My mare is called Electric Queen and she electrocutes all who get in her way..." The best introduction to the head-spinning Sonepur Fair comes from the Horse Breeder, who, along with the Showman, the Rider, the Exorcist, the Dancer and the Mahut (elephant tamer) comprise a cast known only by their association to the festival.

Hot Docs winners Cedric Dupire and Gaspard Kuentz wander the fairgrounds, leaving a starry-eyed impression of the festival which is held at the confluence of the rivers Ganges and Gandak on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Kartika. The resulting film is sensory overload, a documentary as Bollywood film, complete with all the frenetic pacing and explosions of neon that only a visit to the fair can offer.

Come one, come all!

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