Michelangelo Antonioni durante le riprese di Chung Kuo, Cina nel 1972.''Courtesy Archivio fotografico Rai Teche''

7.00 PM Introduction by Massimo Bernardini (“TV 70” scientific consultant)
7.30 PM CHUNG KUO, CINA – first part
9.00 PM CHUNG KUO, CINA – second part
10.45 PM CHUNG KUO, CINA – third part

Through an agreement between Rai and the Chinese Embassy, Michelangelo Antonioni was given the task of depicting the reality of China under the Maoist cultural revolution. In just five weeks from May to June 1972, over 30,000 metres of Super 16 mm film were shot. This “travel journal” was marked by the difficulties of conducting an in-depth investigation in a short period of time and under the heavy control of the authorities. Antonioni’s camera seeks out men and women in squares, parks, streets, buildings, factories, fields, metropolises, Party offices, hospitals, and many other public places so as to build an intimate, domestic tale that emerges from pure perceptiveness and from the wish to see more than to understand. Impression prevails over investigation, fragmentation over analysis: this is the secret of this extraordinary document on the China of the time, suspended between the past and modernity, a document which dramatically broke away from the official propaganda and therefore was not well received by the European left or the Chinese authorities. The film was a new chapter in Antonioni’s line of enquiry on humanity, enigmatically set between Zabriskie Point (1970) and The Passenger (1975).

directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
collaboration and text Andrea Barbato
photography Luciano Tovoli
editor Franco (Kim) Arcalli
sound Giorgio Pallotta
music consulting Luciano Berio
first assistant director Enrica Fico
broadcast on Programma Nazionale from 24.01.1973 to 07.02.1973