Private Project

New Deserted Area

The documentary records the population changes in a village called “DaMaoHu”, 50km further into the Tengger Desert from its nearest entrance. The population is 7 nowadays while it was 300 30 years ago. The main characters are the two sons of Li Yongbo and their respective families.
Getting old, Li Yongbo and his wife sold their goats and camels. They left DaMaoHu and went to live with their grandson in Zuoqi in Inner Mongolia, helping look after their grandkid.
Li Yongbo gave the money that he sold his goat and camel to his third son, who has moved out of DaMaoHu 20 years ago and most of the usable items back at his home to his eldest son Li Peiguang, which made his second son Li Peirong unhappy.

With the development of economy in China rural area, camels have become less and less important. Li Peirong has to shift his farming interest from his favorite camel to goats, because the latter is more lucrative. However, the place they are living is one of the originalities of sand storm and many times goats are lost and found dead in the storm.

Other than goats, digging Suoyang from the soil (grown in the desert of northwest China, a type of fungus and is believed to be a good anti-impotence medication) is another major source of income despite its massive destruction to the vegetation in the desert. In order to provide financial aid to their kids who either study or work in urban cities, both the eldest and 2nd son have to dig Suoyang each and every day so that their kids can continue to study or afford to buy an apartment.

Kids not dependant yet, their two eldest sons cannot leave DaMaoHu, so they are fighting with other villagers for the position of village head. To protect the newly planted trees, the 2nd son poisoned dead fellow villager’s goats and was forced to quit; when the eldest son was elected, he made a big mistake by registering fellow villager Lao Xu’s mother dead who actually is still alive and was forced to leave the position too.

Disappointed, the 2nd son can only be proud of his son’s good performance at school, however, later on, his son failed the National College Entrance Exam and his daughter failed the postgraduate exam, which was a huge hit not only to Li Peirong and his family but also to the old Li Boyong. The old Li Yongbao got sick and after recovery, they left his grandson’s home for their 3nd son’s home. They hope their two eldest sons can leave DaMaoHu one day when their grandkids are enrolled into college.
Te eldest son believe that they will need to keep staying in DaMaoHu for at least 10 more years before they can help their kids get settled in town. They hope DaMaohu can get some development in between. The 2nd son’s daughter got married in Chengdu city (northwest china) and after getting back from the marriage, he is even more eager to develop DaMaoHu.

It is said that some real estate developer has come into one villager’s house, the two sons spared no trouble to be obsequious to the developer, hoping that he can make investment to develop DaMaoHu. However, on the way out of the desert, the developer’s car was stuck in the sand and he decides the cost of development would be huge because of the harsh environment.

The 2nd son’s wife got sick and the phone is not working. While bring her out of the desert to see doctor, they met with black sand storm. The reception tower that was supposed to bring reception to DaMaoHu was called off and the village is electronically non-communicated to outside world forever. And there is no news to the news of pave a road to the village either. The eldest son said: this place is going to become another deserted area.

The beginning of 2015 saw more villages moving out of DaMaoHu.

  • Wang Peng
  • Lin Rixin
  • Guo Yimeng
  • Wang Peng
  • Project Title (Original Language):
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  • Runtime:
    1 hour 10 minutes 45 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    300,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
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  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Wang Peng

Wang Peng, graduated from news and communication department, Lanzhou University.Lanzhou University , has been a director in CCTV, an experienced journalist in Urban Newspaper of the South, and the correspondent of the Northwest for the Time Newspaper in Beijing. And he has also worked as director in Time Newspaper of Chongqin and consultant for Morning Newspaper of Lanzhou. Now he holds the ownership in Zuli River Cultural Communication Limited Company of Lanzhou, which is one of the cooperators of CCTV documentary channel and is the director and producer of the company.
Works of the executive producer: “New Deserted Area” “Zhao Zhong” “ Shanxi Opera” “Seeking for Snow Leopard” ,“ Living China series 1) Walking Camel 2) Dreaming of Flying like Eagle etc.

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