2013 Plath Prize: Peasant Family Happiness

农家乐 Peasant Family Happiness
Jenny Chio, Emory University
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This documentary explores the backstage efforts of locals in the world of ethnic tourism. Chio observes and documents interactions between locals and tourists with a focused yet easy rapport with members of local communities. A variety of perspectives, views and experiences are presented with appreciation for the dilemmas faced by individuals and groups who seek more stable income, material comfort and dignified living in ancestral villages. These concerns are situated against a backdrop of increased surplus disposable income and leisure time among China’s middle class, who “do tourism” in the two different villages depicted by Chio. A kinder, gentler version of Dennis O’Rourke’s acerbic Cannibal Tours, Chio’s film shows how residents negotiate with visiting Han tourists and their idealized projections of ethnic minorities.

2013 Plath Award Committee
Maris Gillette, Chair
Mark McGuire
Fuji Lozada