Documentary reflecting true lives of Xinjiang people to be broadcast
Published: Apr 12, 2021 08:33 PM
Xinjiang-related documentary Beyond the Mountains Photo: the documentary production team

Xinjiang-related documentary Beyond the Mountains Photo: Courtesy of the documentary production team

A new Xinjiang-themed documentary that reveals the true lives of people in the region will be broadcast soon, the Global Times has learned. 

The documentary, named Beyond the Mountains, reflects the current living conditions of people of all ethnic groups in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The film follows four documentaries produced by CGTN on the Xinjiang region's anti-terrorism fight - Fighting Terrorism in Xinjiang, The Black Hand, Tianshan Still Standing, and The War in the Shadow

The Global Times learned that the new documentary was produced by the same team as the four earlier ones, all directed by Han Bin. 

Shooting began in August 2020 in various regions of Xinjiang for Beyond the Mountains, which was made at the same time as The War in the Shadow

The new documentary is not a "response" to current Western attacks on Xinjiang, but "a gift brought to the Xinjiang people," Han told the Global Times. 

"I really want to say that today's Xinjiang is as dynamic and fast developing as the rest of China and would like to present the real Xinjiang, especially after making four anti-terrorism documentaries. Breaking down prejudice and misunderstanding was the original purpose of making Beyond the Mountains," he said. 

The 80-minute documentary features the magnificent natural scenery of Xinjiang under the high-definition camera and tells 18 vivid stories. 

The stories show how people of all ethnic groups in the north and south of the Tianshan Mountains love their homeland, carry on their traditions and pursue their dreams and how Xinjiang developed and stayed in harmony with other Chinese ethnic groups.

The film not only reflects the different cultural facets and natural beauty of the north and south parts of the Tianshan Mountains, it also told the audience about a real Xinjiang that is different from the vision of the US and other Western public opinion.

"Xinjiang is no longer an isolated island after decades of development and is now striding forward with vigor, which has all been witnessed by the Tianshan Mountains. But in some people's minds, there is also a mountain to cross," according to the film. 

Han noted that the film's narration was not overly emotional. "The film has very few words and was mostly presented in an original way, but it moves me every time I watch it," he said. 

The director believed that for a long time, the outside world has built a system within which it only talks in its own words about Xinjiang. The title of the documentary, Beyond the Mountains, is intended to express the idea that just like people in the south of the Tianshan Mountains do not fully understand the development in the north, and people in the north also may not have accurate views on the south, so do people from "outside the region." 

"A lot of prejudice actually comes from the mountain in our head that prevents us from seeing the truth," he said. 

"Our biggest hope is that people can learn more about Xinjiang through this film and see the region from another perspective," Han said, noting that although he has been working on the story of Xinjiang for many years, he still feels that the fast-changing story of Xinjiang deserves to be told constantly.