Beijing Taxi is a documentary film recently screened at Tribeca Cinemas as part of an Arts Engine's DocuClub event. A slow, rhythmic and moody film, Beijing Taxi is more about the evolution (or some might argue decline) of Beijing and it races to become an even more modernized city in preparation for the 2008 Olympics. The filmmaker tracks three taxi drivers as they travel through a very old city in the midst of dense skyscraper construction. The drivers experience the inescapable change in their physical landscape as well as their own personal circumstances and psyche as Beijing gets its makeover and appears to have less and less use for its history. It's really even so much more than that though and the city (the real main character) is so beautifully captured by Sean Price Williams and Ian Vollmer with additional camera work by by Wang Shiqing. It's a Beijing like I had never seen in film before.
DocuClub is Arts Engine's monthly film screening series of works-in-progress documentaries and on Wednesday, filmmaker (and co-edior) Miao Wang was the brave soul to show her film Beijing Taxi to an audience of her peers. The post panel was moderated by the Grants Manager at Cinereach, Adella Ladjevardi, Ms. Wang and her editor, Sikay Tang. I look forward to seeing the final cut and I hope when the time comes it gets a proper run. It's really a great lesson in emotional, artful filmmaking.