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Film documents journey of China's plants around the world

By Chen Meiling | | Updated: 2017-04-20 13:12

The Journey of Chinese Plants, China's first documentary to tell stories of Chinese plants and their connection to the world, was announced to begin shooting in the Beijing Botanical Garden on April 17.

"There are about 300,000 advanced plants in the world, 10 percent of which grow in China," said Li Chengcai, director of the documentary. "The documentary aims to tell how Chinese plants moved, grew and became known in other countries based on important historic events and stories of plant lovers."

His team will visit New Zealand to find out how Chinese kiwi fruit developed a new look there, to Japan to learn how Chinese tea became an important element of Japanese culture, and to figure out how the United States taught the world the nutritional value of Chinese beans, according to Li.

They will shoot in the famous botanical gardens and nature reserves around the world, interview botanists and record the growing cycle of plants frame-by-frame in greenhouse, he said.

The documentary has 10 episodes, each 50 minutes long, and is expected reach the silver screen at the opening ceremony of the International Horticultural Exhibition, to be held in Beijing from April 29 to October 7 in 2019.

During the 162-day event, plants originating in China and spread throughout the world over 5,000 years will be displayed, and the whole industrial chain of the production, processing, circulation and purchase will be discussed, said Zhou Jianping, standing deputy director of the Beijing World Horticultural Expo Coordination Bureau.

"Different from former expos which mainly focused on the introduction of plants from around the world, this time the event is expected to show China's contribution to the world's horticulture," Zhou said.

The organizer will construct three theme gardens centering around fruit trees, fruits and Chinese herbal medicine in which different species, their cultivation techniques and industrial development will be exhibited.

Wang Shi, chairman of China's real estate giant Vanke Co Ltd, said he has posted one photo of a plant and its introduction on the social platform every day for five years.

"The first thing I do when coming to a new city is to visit its botanical garden," he said. "And a garden without Chinese azalea and camellia appears tedious."

The event, held after 2008 Beijing Olympics and before Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, is considered important in showing China's determination to globalize and protect the environment, said Wang.

"And the documentary reflected that people’s attention has been turned from GDP to the beauty of their surroundings," he added.

The organizer also announced the selection of four image ambassadors for the 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition who truly love nature and live a green lifestyle, said Ye Dahua, deputy director of the Beijing World Horticultural Expo Coordination Bureau.

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