Price: $350.00

    Code: 2459

    Directed by Libbie D. Cohn and J.P Sniadecki
    2012, 78 minutes
    Purchase: $350 | Classroom rental: $125

    A mesmerizing, one-of-a-kind window into modern China, People's Park is an exhilarating single shot documentary that immerses viewers in an unbroken journey through a famous urban park in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.

    People's Park was produced at Harvard's groundbreaking Sensory Ethnography Lab, which has been responsible for some of the most critically-acclaimed, envelope-pushing documentaries of recent years (including Leviathan, and Manakamana)

    The film explores the dozens of moods, rhythms, and pockets of performance coexisting in tight proximity within the park's prismatic social space, capturing waltzing couples, mighty sycamores, karaoke singers, and buzzing cicadas.

    A sensory meditation on cinematic time and space, People's Park offers a fresh gaze at public interaction, leisure and self-expression in today's China.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    * Winner, Best Cinematography Award, Ann Arbor Film Festival
    * Winner, Gian Paolo Paoli award for Best Anthropological Film, Festival dei Popoli
    * Official Selection, Locarno Film Festival
    * Official Selection, New Directors/New Films


    “An unblinking nonfiction look — captured in one uninterrupted, extraordinarily stable and fluid shot — at contemporary China or at least the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people crowded into one Sichuan city park. The directors…plunge you into a human tributary on which you drift and flow and occasionally stop dead, only to rise up and up and up in the astonishing, infectiously joyous finale.” —Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

    “An exuberant mingling of street theater and anything-can-happen documentary.” – Dennis Lim, The New York Times

    “A provocative example of pure cinema and the most dynamic exploration of the cinematic time-space continuum I’ve seen since The Clock.”- J.Hoberman, Artinfo

    "What does feel unique…is the way a potential gimmick rises above a technical challenge to become something more playful and profound. Filmmakers Libbie D. Cohn and J.P. Sniadecki …find a graceful groove in their flow through a sea of strangers. In its absolute, if rather less hazardous, embrace of the experimental and the experiential, People's Park makes a perfect (lighter-hearted) companion to Ms. Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor's senses-walloping doc Leviathan.” – The Wall Street Journal

    "At every turn People's Park captures something ineffable—everyday life transformed into cinema.” – Village Voice

    "Among the many recent documentaries about contemporary Chinese society, Sniadecki’s films stand out not only for their patience and rigour but also their avoidance of obvious talking points. In lieu of trying to frame the “bigger picture” about a country whose complexities are nearly as myriad as its population, Sniadecki zeroes in on tiny, telling details that actually enlarge the scope of the work.” –POV Magazine

    "Recommended for scholars and students who are interested in cultural anthropology, Asian studies and sociology." - Educational Media Reviews Online

    Further Reading

    New York Times feature - "Taking It to the Limit: In 'People’s Park,' One Long Shot to Tell a Story."

    New York Times - "The Merger of Academia and Art House: Harvard Filmmakers' Messy World."