While attending the Overland Expo in Amado, Sharon and I had the pleasure of seeing Man Zou as part of an adventure film festival. The film is a documentary following the adventure of four Americans and their Chinese guide as they cycle from Beijing to Shanghai. The film is independently produced and the entire trip was unsupported. The whole operation is literally contained in a few Ortlieb panniers. Many adventure films of this ilk suffer from a narrow focus on the travels of the adventure. This film is not like that, its far more about the changing nature of the Chinese landscape and the Chinese people with just a little bit actually about cycling. By forgoing support vehicles permits, planning and even a bit of sense it resulted in a deeply immersed and close up look at the country.
The title of the film translates loosely to “walk slowly”. It is an appropriate title as a major portion of the film considers how life in China is changing with some living the fastest, most modern lives imaginable, while others have simpler slower paced country life. This film gives a good look at what life in modern China is really like. There are also interviews of many scholars and experts which further improve the film. This is a five star feature not to be missed.
Reminder: Vote for us in the Travel for Good contest at: http://www.volunteerjournals.com/volunteer-travel-grants/entries/send-sharon-and-jay-full-time-volunteers-alaska