2011 Byron Bay Film Festival : Beijing Punk

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SCREENING DETAILS – 2.30pm Saturday, 12 March 2011

Beijing Punk, directed by Australian, Shaun Jefford, is one fascinating film set to rock this year’s event.

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Ever since China heaved opened its heavy doors to a curious world media for the 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing has been presented as a clean, orderly city of conservative yet content citizens. But Jefford has managed to scratch the surface of this communist façade and enter into a growing counter-culture simmering just beneath the mask. With playful curiosity, this filmmaker reveals a number of colourful characters with a passion for freedom who are the driving force behind the underground punk music scene of Beijing.

Beijing Punk is an exhilarating documentary about the paradoxical realities existing within 21st century China. In a country fast becoming the factory of the world, capitalism is all the rage to many – but not to ‘Leijin’ and his band members. A skinhead punk rocker and founder of a band called Mi San Dao (a Chinese word for sweet cream puff), Leijin is a big, tough, tattooed, intelligent media master who defiantly commands

Although not against the law, the punk music scene is far from socially acceptable. Flaunting freedom and outrage in public spaces may be an exhilarating exercise in human rights, but can also lead to arrest. As Jefford asserts:

These guys are headed for trouble sooner or later, let’s hope it’s later.

It’s for this reason that the views and opinions belted down the microphone are deliberately politically ambiguous. With more than 15 punk bands and a rebellious following of around 10,000 fans, Beijing youth culture is stirring so be sure not to miss Beijing Punk at the 2011 BBFF. For all festival details including accommodation options and ticket sales, go to www.bbff.com.au

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