Beijing Taxi (2010) Trailer
The trailer for Beijing Taxi.
Set in the two years of the 2008 Olympics games build-up, Beijing Taxi is a multilayered feature documentary that vividly portrays the ancient capital of China going through a profoundly transformational arch. Through a humanistic lens, the stories of three taxi drivers connect a morphing cityscape and tales of ordinary citizens searching for their place amidst this dizzying pace of change. Candid and perceptive in its filming approach and highly cinematic and verité in style, Beijing Taxi takes us on a lyrical journey into fragments of a society riding the bumpy roads to modernization.
There are certain characteristics associated with “old Beijingers.” They are laid back, forthcoming, warm and hospitable. They don’t have the insatiable need for material wealth, strive for success or compete among their peers. They enjoy simple pleasures in activities like fishing or taking a stroll in the park. This “old Beijing” way of life has been challenged by strong economical advances and developments in the last decades. Their values and traditions are put under scrutiny by capitalist rules. The profound changes of Beijing are not only seen in the city itself but also in the heart and minds of its people. The juxtapositions between the “old” and the “new” city are omnipresent.
With diverse and poetic imagery of the old and new Beijing, we establish the idea of the ancient capital undergoing deep structural change, and in the midst of the Olympics build-up. Audiences are introduced to the world of Beijing taxi drivers in their natural setting. Each driver exposes his/her perception of life in a changing Beijing. Bai Jiwen, a driver in his mid 50’s represents the older lost generation who came to age during the Cultural Revolution; Wei Caixia, a mother in her mid-thirties, with aspirations of a free-spirited life and entrepreneurial success; and Zhou Yi, an optimist and content man in his late thirties, who holds onto the more traditional Beijinger’s lifestyle of the past.