Home Chinese Language 书记 – The Transition Interval (2010)

书记 – The Transition Interval (2010)

书记 – The Transition Interval (2010)


A Chinese language county degree official in his prime. The Mainland Chinese language documentary “书记” introduces Guo Yongchang, secretary of the Gushi County Social gathering Committee, who “guidelines” over 1.6 million individuals in Southern Henan. The movie covers the three months earlier than secretary Guo leaves his publish and results in jail.

  • Yr: 2010
  • Period: 108 minutes
  • Subtitles: Chinese language + English
  • Problem: Intermediate / higher intermediate
  • Location: Gushi County, Henan

Story line

“书记” depicts the lifetime of county social gathering secretary Guo Yongchang within the workplace, at dinner events, and KTV at zero distance. He’s confronted with two issues whereas serving his ultimate time period as county social gathering secretary in Gushi:

  1. Attracting funding and facilitating the native economic system. This entails giving them particular presents (decreased costs for electrical energy, constructing and many others.), extreme late-night ingesting and rubbing birthday cake into the face of enterprise relations.
  2. Dissolving varied social contradictions that include modernization and growth. Guo has to seek out options to “complainers” who’ve one way or the other turn into the victims of presidency insurance policies.
书记 - The Transition Period (2010) - drinking with American business man

Director Zhou Hao and the genius of this movie

Zhou Hao – how he grew to become a documentary maker

Zhou Hao (周浩) has an extended and spectacular track-record as a filmmaker. Most well-known internationally might be his documentary “Datong“, which tells the story of Geng Yanbo, the mayor of Datong. “书记” is an earlier movie, but exhibits sturdy similarities. Each movies search to grasp the ecology of Chinese language officialdom.

这部纪录片很真实,真实到什么程度,我感觉就差拉屎没拍了。(This documentary may be very actual, to the extent that it’s so actual, I really feel like solely him taking a shit is just not filmed.)

Chinese language viewer on zhuanlan.zhihu.com

The genius of this movie: the viewer will get a way that he’s invisibly current within the room whereas the protagonist goes about his every day enterprise, speaking to traders, making cellphone calls, passing on directions and, most significantly, heavy ingesting. However how is that doable? How can a robust chief in rural China merely give full entry and transparency?

Zhou Hao chooses let the pictures communicate for themselves. No narrator interprets the story for us. No background music accentuates the scenes. You’re form of left in the dead of night, by no means fairly certain what to make of Guo Yongchang and his dealings. Is he a superb cadre or a nasty one? Which indicators apply to that query? Are you able to decide a politician appearing in a system that you simply don’t comprehend? The truth that in Could 2010, Guo Yongchang was sentenced to seven years in jail for the crime of accepting bribes, appears to verify that in “书记” nothing is kind of what it appears. That’s the genius of the movie. It makes you query every thing.


Watching and understanding “书记” with out subtitles is hard. Firstly, it’s largely Henan dialect which remains to be a northern variant much like Beijing Chinese language, however takes some getting used to. Secondly, the officers have a moderately sloppy means of expressing themselves, repeating phrases and talking in half sentences. Thirdly, the mandatory context to grasp what’s being stated is commonly lacking which suggests you need to fill in lots of gaps that you simply’re not in a position to fill as an outsider. Lastly, a primary understanding of Chinese language politics and political titles is useful. These are the difficulties. By way of vocabulary “书记” might be categorized as HSK 4 or 5.

Watch 书记 – The Transition Interval (2010)

Movie tip: 书记 – The Transition Interval (2010)

Essential vocabulary

县委书记 xiànwěi shūjì county Social gathering Secretary
离任 lí rèn resign
总负责人 zǒng fùzé rén chief
向他汇报 xiàng tā huìbào report back to him
级别 jíbié rank
三三大厦 Sānsān dàshà The title of the 33 ground constructing challenge that Guo desires to appreciate
官场上的真实生态 guānchǎng shàng de zhēnshí shēngtài The actual ecology within the officialdom (that the director is considering)
昨天我喝醉了,我说的能算吗 zuótiān wǒ hē zuìle, wǒ shuō de néng suàn ma I used to be drunk yesterday, does what I stated depend?
双规 shuāngguī an extralegal system throughout the CCP for detaining and interrogating cadres who fall from grace. It could actually perform as a verb too with 被.

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