“My partner is my camera”: Zhang Mengqi on Self-Portrait – 47 Km 2020 at London Film Festival 2023
Self Portrait: 47km 2020 is the 11th instalment in filmmaker Zhang Mengqi’s series of work detailing her ancestral village. Returning to her father’s rural village during the pandemic with her camera, she seeks out a chance to document the daily life during the confines of this time, capturing the essence of family time against the toils of farming work and the captivating scenes of the countryside as the seasons evolve.
Having started her portrait series in 2010, capturing the monotony of daily life against the emotional sides of her family – the laughter and relationships they have – is what makes this piece so unique and puts into perspective her patience as a filmmaker.
The Upcoming had the pleasure of speaking to Mengqi about her work, putting her small village on the map and bringing the past to life, from the famine that struck the country through to the suffering of the pandemic. She also discussed the shooting process, which she does by herself, being careful not to intrude on the personal space of those she is filming.
Self-Portrait: 47 Km 2020 does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews and interviews from our London Film Festival 2023 coverage here.
For further information about the festival visit the official BFI website here.