My Grandparents Climb the Mountain 43min

Before I knew Communist China, I knew my Grandparents. I learned through them the perils of a marriage, the history of my country, and how a nation state can shape a love story. On their 54th wedding anniversary we hiked together to a mountaintop that they had not seen in 30 years. It was on top of this mountain that I began to understand the relationship between them.

My Grandparents Climb The Mountain is a documentary that travels between the present and the past. The film follows my grandparents as they go through their daily lives, which leads to the days of their early courtship and also the birth of the Communist People’s Republic of China, which happened around the same time as my grandparent’s marriage. The film is an archeological dig into their love story, which leads, deeper and deeper, into the collective memory of modern China. By peeling away the layers of my Grandfather’s experiences we get a sense of the effects of an unpredictable, tumultuous political system on one man and his extended family. This short documentary film is both a universal love story and a rare glimpse into a hidden history.

  • Wang Yao
  • Erik Spink
  • Craig Lowy
  • Jonathan Price
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  • Runtime:
    43 minutes 1 second
  • Completion Date:
    September 5, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    12,000 USD
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Director Biography - Wang Yao

Wang Yao was born in China and graduated from Communication University of China, Nanjing, with a degree in Broadcasting and TV Editing. After graduation, he studied in New York City at the School of Visual Arts MFA Social Documentary Film Program. After graduation he works as a freelancer producer, director, and editor for documentaries. He has experience both in TV production and independent filmmaking.

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Director Statement

Through living in The Untied States, I realized that although China has became a world power, little is known about the country outside China. Many people are misinformed and even prejudiced against the Chinese. As a filmmaker, it is important to me to let people have a deeper understanding of China through my stories.