Jia Zhangke è a Berlino per presentare il suo nuovo documentario Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue, che racconta tre generazioni di scrittori cinesi.
Tuttavia è riuscito ad arrivare solo all’ultimo e senza garanzie preventive, annunciando che il suo prossimo film, che avrebbe dovuto girare tra la primavera e l’estate, è stato fermato a tempo indefinito, a causa del coronavirus.
“We still can’t really do all the pre-production necessary for us to have this happen in April”.
“On a personal level, as filmmakers, I don’t think that this epidemic will somehow dent our passions or our eagerness to continue making films. This epidemic has caused us to stop and think about our society and a lot of issues that we haven’t been reflecting on for a long period of time. So on a creative level, we may find a lot of source of inspiration as a result of this epidemic to make more work.”
Ma i danni a tutto il comparto, a partire dai giorni del capodanno cinese a fine gennaio sono diventati enormi: “For some film companies and studios involved in pre-production, a lot of costs are going down the drain, and those that already started production have to be somehow cut short or suspended. Some of them are already in the process of distributing films and they’ve paid for a lot of promotion and PR costs. The economy is now taking a huge hit, and I think the investment side will be hugely impacted as well.”
Ma non è solo la produzione ad averne risentito. Anche il sistema delle sale è in una condizione drammatica: “Right now, the biggest challenge and the danger that we face is actually the operations of cineplexes in different cities. I don’t think audiences will want to go into cinemas for another month or so. I would say it won’t be until maybe June or August that you will have a return of audiences. I can see how a lot of cineplexes will not be able to survive due to not having income for the first half of the year. For a lot of the cineplexes, that’s how they make half or a third of their income.”
“The sentiment in China is very pessimistic in terms of the film industry, but I wanted to press on and make sure I’m bringing some light to the whole dark situation we’re experiencing.”