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South to North

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The Nan Shui Bei Diao (South Water North Move), designed to move water from the south to the north of China, is the biggest water transfer project the world has ever seen. Charting the path of this national construction project, the film maps the turbulent cartography of a territory where cement defeats the plains, rivers are deviated from their natural course, deserts become forests and where gradually people are becoming vocal, demanding justice and the right to speak out.
While matter decomposes and individuals are becoming alarmed, a science-fiction landscape, against nature, is reconstituted.


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Running Time: 109 min.
Subject(s): Asian Studies, Ecology, Environment, Human Rights, Politics, Science, Society
Language(s): Chinese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English
Director(s):
Producer(s): Patrice NEZAN, Julie PARATIAN
Cinematographer: Antoine BOUTET
Editor(s): Antoine BOUTET
Production Company: Les Films du Présent

Festival & Awards

  • Festival International du Film de Locarno (Switzerland)
  • DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival (Finland)
  • Punto de Vista Documentary Film Festival (Spain)
  • Ecofalante Environmental Film Festival (Brazil)
  • Millenium International Documentary Film Festival (Belgium)

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  • Long SYNOPSIS

    The Nan Shui Bei Diao – North South Water Transfer – is the world’s largest water transfer project, stretching between southern and northern China. Many regions at death’s door depend on this project. But the risks are high, between the damage done to the environment and the impact on displaced populations…
    Following the steps of this national project, this film maps the ever-changing state of a territory redesigned by engineers, where cement reaches beyond the grasslands, rivers leave their beds, deserts become forests, and where voices gradually grow stronger, asking for justice and the right to be heard.
    While matter is decomposing and individual concern is rising, an artificial, science fiction landscape is taking over.
    Amidst dust and water, construction sites are rumbling, sand is nearing the cities. By following rivers upstream to their sources, North South Water Transfer paints the portrait of a country diving in its own challenges, along artificial rivers and ancestral rivers, a country which has become the social and economic laboratory of the century to come.

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