Private Project

Rock and Roll Under the South Gate

The Shaanxi band ‘Listen to the South Gate’ offers entertaining and emotional performances with their culturally unique style of music that deeply connects to the local people of Xi’an along with their history and culture through a compelling and captivating atmosphere found beneath 600 years of Chinese tradition: The South Gate of the Ancient City Wall.

Rock and Roll under the South Gate infuses old tradition with new media and explores certain ideas around escapism and fate by examining three band members Gun’er Ge, Xia Ke Ya and Zhang Kai whom have each escaped their own domestic and/ or cultural responsibilities in the pursuit of freedom and spreading positivity through music.

  • Kaitiaki Rodger
  • Kaitiaki Rodger
  • YuChao Li
  • Gun'er Ge
    Key Cast
  • Zhang Kai
    Key Cast
  • Xia Ke Ya
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 42 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 16, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    400 NZD
  • Country of Origin:
    New Zealand
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Chinese, English
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Kaitiaki Rodger

Kaitiaki is an up-and-coming Māori filmmaker currently studying a Masters degree in Screen Production at the University of Auckland. He has written, directed and produced several student short films during his Honors year. His most recent project being an international documentary for the Looking China 2019 program, which was shot within the Xi'an province of China.

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Director Statement

The Ancient City Wall of Xi'an in China has stood the test of time and deeply reflects upon the rich culture and history of the city. It's residence mostly demonstrate an intimate bond with their city's culture through the expression of music. 'Listen to the South Gate', a rock band who performs under the ancient wall has allowed the locals to express their love for the city's history and culture through their musical talents and passion for the art.

Listen to the South Gate is a rock band formed from several lonely people who have all suffered through various hardships in their lives, but through perseverance and camaraderie have become a family. What drew me into documenting this band was the raw passion and intensity in the band members' performances, as well as their deeply intimate bond as a family. As my journey in making this film progressed, i came to discover the very personal stories through the individual members of the band. Stories of loneliness, rebellion, connection and how these people were able to find each other through their passion for music resonated with me on an emotional level. This connection allowed me to uncover their stories and piece them together within this film.

I felt that it was important to showcase the band's personal stories and reflect them through their powerful performances in order to illustrate the emotions of the characters. While also having these stories drive the emotional core of the film. My greatest challenge was discovering the story of the film, to which, i hope that an audience can resonate with the character's emotional journeys and their personal connections to the city.