My Father's Journey

Mon père et sa mélancolie


78’19’’, 2020.


Xiaodan He


Xiaodan He


Xiaodan He


Jan Belina


Tao Gu


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The protagonist of this documentary is my father: Chong Ren He, born in 1937, in Li Jiang, a small town close to the border of Tibet. He is a descendent of the Naxi, one of the fifty-six Chinese minorities which has a population of 300,000. What makes the Naxi unique is their ancient Dongba culture preserved through the millenary pictographic writing. This particular pictogram is the only living one in use today and is called the “living fossil”. Besieged by the constant political upheavals and the assimilation of the dominant Chinese modern culture, this film will explore how can an individual of 80 years of age build his own spiritual castle to protect himself and his frail yet precious culture.

Xiaodan He, a Chinese-Canadian filmmaker based in Montreal, has studied film production at the Beijing Film Academy in China from 1993 to 1997. Being a Chinese ethnic minority, she then worked for the Yunnan Minority Film Studio as an assistant producer and director. In 2002, Xiaodan immigrated to Montreal of Canada.