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New TV series sheds light on life in China's cities after dark

By Xing Wen | China Daily | Updated: 2024-01-08 07:21
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Xu talks with Wen Feng, a local musician in Changsha, about their impressions of the city. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"Such scenes are deeply moving. They get together to create a small yet powerful spiritual community where members recognize and uplift each other. Such connections empower each of them to continue their respective life journeys," says Xu.

"These communities contribute to the city's richness and diversity, making it a more vibrant and interconnected place," he adds.

Along the banks of the Xiangjiang River, a crucial tributary of the Yangtze River that runs through Changsha, Xu met Dong Shuntao, a 66-year-old woman who sells deep-fried stinky tofu during the daytime. As night falls, she takes to the streets as a DJ, providing music for square dance enthusiasts.

During their conversation, Xu discovers that for Dong, who lost her husband, her passion for working as a DJ served as a lifeline, pulling her out of her grief and enabling her to recapture a love for life.

Xu says that wandering through the city and connecting with different people makes him feel at ease. And he hopes to create a program that captures a grander narrative by taking a glimpse into the lives of ordinary individuals.

"A lot of people I know exhibit a distinct shift in their mindset during the night, compared with their daytime demeanor," says Wang, the director. "During the day, there seems to be a certain restraint among people, as if there's a wall surrounding them. However, come nightfall, many are eager for that barrier to vanish, craving understanding. I aim to film individuals who resonate with this experience."

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