Chronicle of Longwang – Li Yifan


The poetic calm of life and farming follows the 24 solar terms. What lies behind is the most primitive governance and collision of rural rights and religions.


Synopsis of Chronicle of Longwang

In early 2000s, China began to build a new socialist countryside, and great changes took place in the rural areas. The agricultural tax has been abolished, and farmers no longer need to hold on to their land. After China’s entry into the WTO and the promulgation of the Labor Contract Law, a large number of rural migrant workers entered the cities. As a result, the countryside began to become empty.

In addition, there was a lack of effective organization and connection in the rural areas. Therefore, churches and other forms of organization began to enter the countryside. Meanwhile, the director chose to record Longwang Village, a sample that is very close to the maximum average of rural areas in western China, hoping to reflect the greatest commonality of rural society in the most objective manner.

In the empty old farming society of Longwang Village, there are four seasons of farm work according to the solar terms. Apart from that, you can see the exceptionally popular Christianity, extremely secular beliefs, and funeral and ritual customs. Above all, it shows the functioning of the grassroots power in elections, voting, etc., and how it relates to the daily life of the peasants, especially to religion.


1 hour 31 minutes | English & Simplified Chinese subtitles | SD (768×576)
China | 2008
Director: Li Yifan

Awards & Film Festivals

1. Supported by International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) Bertha Fund
2. Supported by The Swiss Fund Visions Sud Est
3. Winner of Young Audience Award & Nomination of Golden Montgolfiere, 2008 Nantes Three Continents Festival
4. Nomination of Dragons and Tigers Award, 2008 Vancouver International Film Festival
5. Official Selection, 2007 Beijing Independent Film Festival
6. Official Selection, 2009 Yunnan Multicultural Visual Festival

Highlight Endorsement

“This scrupulously objective, precisely shot documentary takes on specific meaning in this often implicitly ironic and always compassionately engaged almanac of a year of rural Chinese life.”
Jérôme Baron, Nantes Three Continents Festival

“The seemingly calm rural archives are actually critical and powerful anthropological observations.”
Sha Qiu, Douban

“The viewing experience of Chronicle of Longwang is like living in this village for a year in real life.”
Wang Er De, Douban

Reasons for Recommendation

1. It has the rating of 8.2 on IMDB and 8.1 on Douban
2. This documentary will broaden the boundaries of your perception of China, because it is so well chosen and informative for a documentary.
3.  In many shots, Chronicle of Longwang is a reminder of the vitality, tenacity, and resilience that each life unleashes on its own.

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