Ancient Species (红谷子)

Ancient Species (红谷子)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Auditorium (Room 101), Henry R. Luce Hall See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 6511

Ancient Species / 红谷子
Directed by Lin Zhi-zhan (Taiwan, 2008, 86 mins, English subtitles)

Dong Chao-qing, a Baomo (flamen), found the red grains of an ancient species in Pingzhai Village. Under his proposal, three farmers started to plant the red grains in the traditional way. From the last century, Chinese government has been waving the banner of scientific farming, and promotes that “modern farmers should know about scientific farming.” Although the farmers were not wanting to, they still started to use fertilizers and pesticides, which severely damaged their soil. Not to mention, the new breeding technologies also rendered the traditional grain species near extinction. Organic farming actually originates from China and is based on the farming skills passed down from one generation to another, which consequently forms the strong historical and emotional bonding between farmers and their land. Ironically, the parents who work in the fields would rather “exodus” their children from agriculture through education. The economic growth in China has increased people’s income, but not their confidence. The urban people, who despise their rural countrymen, are in fact looking down on themselves with the poisonous thinking of “whatever is exotic is good, whereas home-made stuff is worthless.” When people try to help farmlands and farmers to regain their land and agricultural confidence, is that not also a process for Chinese people to find their own confidence?

董朝清,一位宗教祭师,在2007年初于平寨村发现了老品种的红谷子,在他的倡议下有三户农户开始了以传统的方法种植红谷子。中国自上个世纪以来,在高举 着科学种田的旗帜下,政府提出“现代农民要懂得科学种田”,农民虽不情愿,仍开始大量使用化学肥料与农药,对土地造成极大的破坏,而育种技术的出现也使得 传统老品种的谷种濒临灭绝的边缘。有机种植本源自中国,种植的技术全凭先祖们一代代的传承,农民与土地一直有一份怎么也说不清的历史渊源与情感牵绊;而讽 刺的是,在农村种田的父母却希望小孩子通过教育逃离农村。中国的经济发展带来了人民经济能力的提高,却没能带来更多的自信,城里人瞧不起农村人,其实就是 瞧不起自己,举凡外来的东西就是好,自己的东西便一文不值,而农村找回土地与种植的自信,不也是一个中国人找回自信心的过程?

Part of the 5th Annual REEL CHINA Documentaries Biennial Series

For More Information

China, Taiwan