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Chronicle of an Ordinary Chinese Family
Huang Xingyue is a fisherman living on the picturesque banks of the Lijiang River in Guilin, Southern China. During the 1980’s the traditional fishing started to decline, but Guilin became a popular tourist attraction. Huang decided to take advantage of the new opportunities. He used his savings and bought a barge. He has been a river tour guide ever since. His speciality: a fishing show with family members whom he directs for foreign photographers in the spectacular Guilin setting.
In 2000, Huang took a further step along the road to a different life style. He became the first fisherman of his town to build a tourist hotel, right alongside a government building and offered shelter to the visiting tourists. His business is run as a family affair, everybody lends a helping hand, solidarity inside the family is the key. The only exception is his youngest son Junyi: he is the first adolescent of the town to study at university away from home, and to pursue another avenue to the fishing trade: he opens a cyber café and seems very successful at it.
This family chronicle will look at what the changing times mean to an ordinary family with a five hundred year tradition of fishing with Ospreys. While the parents of our main protagonist -they had 8 sons and daughters who are all “well off”- have remained true to a traditional life style, Huang has created for himself a living based on the representation of his dying craft. But he is already no longer a fisherman. And his youngest son goes even further…. In a modern day tale, this film takes the time to look at how an ordinary Chinese family adapts to the changing times.