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Turning doomsday project into a rally for hope

Updated: 2012-11-13 20:57
By Xu Lin ( China Daily)

As December approaches, many may be reminded of the Hollywood blockbuster 2012, which set Dec 21, 2012 as the crack of doom.

When Wu Zhiduo and Weng Xiangyu quit their jobs in September, announcing they were going to shoot a documentary about people’s last words on doomsday, most people thought they were crazy.

"It does not matter if doomsday is true or not, we need to make a change. We should treat every day as if it’s the last and cherish it,” says Wu, 24, a composer and sound engineer in Gansu province, who was earning a monthly salary of 6,000 yuan ($963).

Within a month, they had raised 22,700 yuan for the project, contributed by 108 supporters through, a popular crowd-funding website in China.

They are now on tour to record the lives and “the last words” of supporters all over the country, most of whom belong to the post-80s generation.

"It’s a new and useful pattern, which not only provides funding in a short time, but also helps us to get sufficient interviewees online. It’s difficult to persuade strangers to be videotaped,” says Weng Xiangyu, 22.

They spent 30,000 yuan on two cameras and asked friends to design souvenirs especially for the program — a set of postcards and T-shirts.

They interviewed the supporters for about 20 minutes, encouraging them to delve into their inner worlds and face themselves.

The documentary will be broadcast online before Dec 21.

"It’s more about finding an answer. Human beings are small and inadequate and may die any time. I believe it’s important to figure out what one really wants to do and what one is doing now,” Wu says.

The two were high school classmates and mooted the idea in April 2010, when they found out they had many similar views about the meaning of life.

"Why are many people satisfied with things as they are? Because they think there’s always hope in tomorrow.

"But what happens if there is no tomorrow?” Wu says.

"We really want to do something to influence the world.

"Hopefully, one will think deeply about one’s life after watching the documentary and it will make a bit of difference,” Weng says.

"I have been obedient to my parents since I was a kid and I could never break the bond to do what I really want to do.

"I never stuck to my dreams and I wanted to make a change,” says Zhao Panpan, 24, a postgraduate student from the China University of Political Science and Law.

She cried with empathy when she watched the video about the program, and offered to contribute 500 yuan instantly.

"Now I just want to follow my heart, to be an excellent lawyer in Southern China after graduation and cherish my current life,” says Zhao, after sharing her vision.

"I want to say to myself 20 years later, ‘Bow only to the truth’.

"That’s what I’ve always been doing’.”