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The time of their lives

By Wang Kaihao | China Daily | Updated: 2019-09-04 07:56
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Chi Yiyang.[Photo provided to China Daily]

"I had a feeling that the post-00 generation, growing up in that social context, would become a thoroughly different type of adult," Zhang explains. "As a documentary director, I wanted to show the change happening from the very beginning."

He released Kids Kingdom in 2009, a film that recorded the children's daily lives in kindergarten, to show human nature from their perspective without any dramatic performances.

Inevitably, some stereotypical labels, like how "self-centered" kids of that generation are, arise in the documentary. However, Zhang's point of view suggests that, if one looks at it from a different perspective, it could be seen as a manifesto that declares their personality.

In the film, one of the children, barely 3 years old, explains why he remains silent most of time by stating: "Everyone has their own choice. This is what I like, and it is my right to do so."

"We were surprised, but convinced," the director says. "Imagine if, in the future, a group of people with even more open minds and independent thoughts could represent China in the world arena-we would naturally turn a page on the way we deal with international affairs."

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