Documentary film produced by the Fondazione Benetton dedicated to the place designated by the International Carlo Scarpa Prize for Gardens 2019.
Directed by Davide Gambino in collaboration with Gabriele Gismondi.
Nestling at the foot of Mount Dazhangshan, overlooked by the misty peaks of Wuyuan, are the Dazhangshan tea cultivations in the heart of China’s “golden triangle of tea”. Here tea plants and a farmers’ association have come together to shape a contemporary landscape that is capable of conveying a sense of ancient history. In a China that has resolved age-old problems like flooding, famine, and disease, the endeavour of the Dazhangshan farmers stands out as extraordinarily emblematic, projecting into the future the value of a rural environment in which humans can develop a harmonious relationship with nature.
But challenges continue to emerge and China’s future sustainability remains uncertain. After thirty years of relentless economic growth, of openness to international markets, technological progress and large-scale infrastructural projects, rapid industrialization has also generated the greatest rural exodus ever experienced by humankind. As we wait for the Anthropocene to be recognized as a geological epoch distinct from the Holocene epoch in the geological timescale of our planet, it is clear that China’s vast surface area and demographic impact make it one of the key players in bringing about this new era, with its overwhelming responsibilities, risks, and challenges; ultimately, China is both a culprit and victim as well as our greatest source of hope.
The Tea Gardens of Dazhangshan
Documentary film 16:9 HD / col. / stereo sound 2019, 30’
Directed by Davide Gambinoin collaboration with Gabriele Gismondi.
Documentary film produced by Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche as part of the 2019 International Carlo Scarpa Prize for Gardens, coordinated by Patrizia Boschiero, head of the publications department of the Foundation, and Luigi Latini, chair of the Foundation’s Scientific Committee, with the collaboration of Maurizio Paolillo, professor of Chinese language and literature, University of Salento.
With: Hong Peng, chairman of the Jiangxi Wuyuan Dazhangshan Organic Tea Farmer Association and of the Jiangxi Wuyuan Dazhangshan Organic Food Company, Ltd.; He Xinneng, Kaoshui farm manager; He Shengyang, Kaoshui farm worker; Zhang Ping, Lijushan farm manager; Zhu Shihua, Xiaolin farm manager; Zhao Wenyin, Xiaolin farmers’ delegate;
Chen Xing, professor and director of the Professional Tea Institute, Wuyuan;
Cheng Yong Rui, teacher and director of the Tuochuan School, Wuyuan County.
And also with: Han Feng, director of the Landscape Department, Architecture and Planning Faculty, Tongji University, Shanghai; Xi Wang, PhD student, Landscape Department, Architecture and Planning Faculty, Tongji University, Shanghai; Xiao Kunbing, anthropologist, Southwest Minzu University, Chengdu, Sichuan; Yu Yue, expert in tea culture, Jiangxi Academy of Social Sciences.
Script: Davide Gambino. Camerawork: Gabriele Gismondiand Davide Gambino.
Photography, editing, color grading and sound design: Gabriele Gismondi.
Original music by Pino Petraccia with Marco Felicioni and Peppe Nardone. Performed by: Marco Felicioni, flutes; Peppe Nardone, guitars; Pino Petraccia, ethnic percussion and kamale ngoni.
Translations: Antonio Leggieri,Maurizio Paolillo, Oona Smyth, Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche.
Aerial shots: Cheng Linkuiand Cheng Mingyuan, Jiangxi Wuyuan Dazhangshan Organic Tea Farmer Association. Drone pilot: Cheng Mingyuan, Jiangxi Wuyuan Dazhangshan Organic Tea Farmer Association.
Executive production: Ruggero Di Maggioand Davide Gambino,Mon Amour Films srl.
Production coordination: Patrizia Boschiero, Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche.
Support in China: Jiangxi Wuyuan Dazhangshan Organic Tea Farmer Association
especially Hong Peng (DOTFA chairman); You Shuhai (DOTFA secretary-general); Cheng Linkui (dotfa office staff); Zhou Yan (DOTFA coordinator);
World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region, Shanghai, especially Anna-Paola Pola (WHITRAP urban planning director and research fellow), and Simone Ricca (WHITRAP deputy director).