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ART OF REGRET, THE

Year: 2007

Classification: Exempt - Ronin Recommends: G

Runtime: 59 min

Produced In: Australia

Directed By: Judith MacDougall

Produced By: Judith MacDougall

Language: Chinese + English subtitles

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Choices about how to regard history, reality, and material culture confront everyone in contemporary China.

In this digital age, the old can be made young again, and anyone can be more beautiful. In department stores at computerised portrait stalls, people enjoy being transformed into film stars or mythological characters. But they also value old photos of the city before it was changed, and a photograph might represent the only glimpse they will ever know of it.

Many photographs were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution and memories lost forever, affecting the way people regard photography and how they use it.

A small shop with only one computer uses digital technology to restore old damaged photographs. A grandmother shows a restored image of herself when she was twelve to her niece of the same age. In a large studio a family portrait is made to commemorate the grandfather's 80th birthday. This studio continues to use its old wooden portrait camera but then employs digital technology to enhance and retouch the photographs.

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