Rockbund Art Museum 上海外滩美术馆

Independent Film Screening: The Old Donkey 弗搭界独立电影观摩系列之十一: 《老驴头》

Event Information

Date: 2 June 2012 Invalid Date
Time: 08:00 Invalid Date
Venue: 2F, Rockbund Art Museum


日期: 2012年 6月 2日 Invalid Date
时间: 08:00 Invalid Date
场馆: 上海外滩美术馆 2楼

Li Ruijun


"Never Mind" Independent Film Screening VOL.11: The Old Donkey

Director: Li Ruijun


Language: Chinese with English Subtitles


The 73-year-old Old MA suffers from chronicle asthma and has trouble in walking long distance, whenever he is out he would ride his donkey,therefore folks in the village nickname him as the “Old Donkey”. Old Donkey has three sons and two daughters, who actually are not willing to support him in his late years. However this old man manages to feed himself by plowing on his own responsibility field.

The young generation in the village believes that farming would only make ends meet but far from profitable, so they have found jobs in cities. However the County government decides that land as such wouldn’t be wasted and thus they would be allocated to those relatively affluent farmers who have basic science & technology knowledge; these land would be managed in a modern, efficient way by them too. Villagers who are not able to join the upgraded way of farming would have to sign contract to sublet their land to other folks and get some money back. They could also work for the new contractors.

The No. 1 rich guy in the village ZHANG Yongfu has signed contract to make the adjacent land into his farmland while Old Donkey’s field remains the only blindspot in his blueprint. ZHANG Yongfu tries hard to persuade Old Donkey in giving up his field, while the latter recalling his painful experience of working for the landlords when he was young, refuses him firmly.

The spring is to come. ZHANG Yongfu wants to forcibly plow Old Donkey’s field without notifying him and compensate his loss later on. Old Donkey after learning about this, decides to guard over his fields everyday. In a short time Old Donkey dreams that his family grave is buried in the sand, He finds out that the clan graves are to be covered by the expanding desert.

Soon, Old Donkey dies.His three sons make their best to arrange his funeral.

Director’s Statement

My film old donkey would epitomize the late life of those old folks in my hometown. Old man like Old Donkey has used his life-long diligent work to prove that he is a laborer, while a changing China has repaid him nothing. When faced with the to-be-devoured clan graves, Old Donkey chooses to work alone to fight against the desert, and to fulfill his duty as a son and a grandson. People’s sense of value nowadays is deteriorating like the natural environment, and something beautiful in life is like the tombs of Old Donkey’s family, and they are to be covered by the desert; would people’s heart become desert? Old Donkey’s life is changed by changes, and his destiny mirrors vicissitudes of ordinary people’s destiny throughout those two discrete eras in Chinese contemporary history.

These stories of the old generations parallel the ups and downs in films, and sometimes they are even more dramatic; I feel awed by the essence of life and their destiny. Contemplating upon the old generation’s life stories, I visualize them in my future project.And therefore this film is to be dedicated to all those are still living and who have already passed away.

The destiny of Old Donkey is as dramatic as the two discrete eras that he has experienced. And maybe the death of Old Donkey also parallels with the end of an era.

About the Director

Li Ruijun, 26-year-old, was born in GaoTai in GanSu province, prc, in 1983. At the age of 14, he started to learn painting and music. In 2003, he graduated from the institute of management of China National Ministry of Radio, Film and Television. From 2006 to 2007, he had completed his debut feature film Summer Solstice! From 2009 to 2010, he started to work on his second feature filmThe Old Donkey (Lao Lv Tou). Currently, It was awarded the script & project development 2009 and post-postproduction funding 2010--Hubert Bals Fund Rotterdam IFFR.

15th Pusan International Film Festival included it in New Currents Competition 2010.

7th China Independent Film Festival (Highest Award 2010 & Film Festival Closing Film)


29th Fajr International Film Festival 2011

Kolkata Documentary International Film Festival 2011

13th Deauville Asian Film Festival Competition 2011

35th The Hong Kong International Film Festival 2011(SIGNIS Award & FIPRESCI PriceAward nomination)

13thBuenos Aires International Film Festival 2011

2011 The Belgian royal filmarchives Film Festival (Cinédécouvertes prizes nomination)

29th MUENCHEN International Film Festival competition 2011.(CINEVISION AWARD nomination)

40th Rotterdam International Film Festival 2011(Dioraphte Award the second place)

2011 Li Ruijun’s third script project Where is my home was selection of the 9th Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) and awarded the script & project development & The Wouter Barendrecht Award.






















2011年第40届鹿特丹国际电影节(Dioraphte 奖第二名)