There is a place in the mountains of Shaanxi called Qingjian, where dates come out. But when our car stopped at the Qingjian, what we saw was a stream with pale yellow foam flowing out from the depths of the mountain filled with yellow smoke and into a muddy river. No blue sky, no birds and flowers, the air flowing with a pungent smell of sulfuric acid.
No words can describe my mood at that time. A friend in Xi ‘an once gave me a big bag of red dates, on which was beautifully written ” Qingjian jujube”. He said that Qingjian jujube is famous and a tribute of that year. I carried this bag of Qingjian jujube back to Germany from China. In the wet and cold winter, I treasure to take out a few pieces of food for the emperor to eat every day. After washing, I remove the nuclei, put them together with tremella and stew them slowly with small fire to make the room fragrant. Then I add crystal sugar. I imagine the blue sky in northern Shaanxi, with clear mountain streams shining like silver in the sun. Jujube trees full of mountains and slopes laugh in the bright winter sun. However, I did not know that I had spent the winter ” nourishing” jujube, which was filled with heavy smoke and chemical waste, without thinking about it.
Photographs were taken of thick smoke and foaming streams in the air. At this moment, a girl was walking by the stream with some sheep. The camera stopped her and wanted her to drive the sheep across the stream and then walk along the stream to the village deep in the mountain. The girl is very small. She looks only seven or eight years old. Her face is dirty and her hair is thin yellow like hay. My heart suddenly felt very painful. I defended the girl and accused the camera, saying that just because you wanted to take a shot and let somebody else’s girl walk in such dirty water, do you think you are a German TV station and have the right to let people do such a thing?
The Germans looked at each other and stood looking at me. I suddenly realized that my mother-in-law and mother-in-law look like an out-and-out housewife at the moment. The Chinese personnel assisting in the shooting asked about the situation and comforted me by saying that it was nothing, the water was not deep, and the children in the countryside could bear hardships. You can just give her a little money. I said, I will give her money even if she doesn’t leave. This is not about money. Are we willing to let our children wade through such dirty ditches in late autumn?
The camera said awkwardly, I’m ashamed of you for saying so. But you are also saying everyday that empty shots are boring, so let them move. The girl doesn’t walk in dirty water today, but she walked yesterday and will walk tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Now she has taken a walk for our camera and made some sense. Don’t you think so?
I understand what he said. I also understand that his idea is very good. But I think besides the bottom line of reason and morality,
In addition to the ideal picture, there is one thing that constrains people’s behavior, and that is emotion. The camera saw me hesitating and said, if necessary, I can walk through this ditch, but I can’t walk as convincingly as this girl.
I am dumb. I know I can’t make a big movie in this life. Because I am a woman who is easily attracted to trivial matters. I always focus on things other than movies. Once I wanted to shoot a shot of killing sheep in Mongolia, and the fat sheep was brought here. I couldn’t bear to watch it, so I discussed with the camera how to handle the shot so as to kill the sheep but not really kill the sheep. As a result, we spent a long time there to learn from each other. The Mongolian people around us are firmly on the side of the camera. I didn’t know until I finished killing the sheep that the Mongols were waiting for mutton. The camera criticized me for being unprofessional and said that I had better change my profession to charity or something.
I stuffed some bank notes into the girl’s pocket and told her to cross the stream, then walk along the stream without stopping or looking back. When you get home, give the money to your mother. As I said these things, I was extremely depressed. I know that I and the group in front of me are doing a useless thing. When will we be able to feed back these environmental pollution shots? What can be changed by feedback here? The girl took the money and could not change her life at all. Breathing dirty air and drinking polluted water, she may die early. If she is lucky enough to live to 18 years old, she will have to marry and then she will repeat her mother’s life. Her children may wade through dirtier ditches every day. Everything is very difficult to change, in the mountains and mountains.
When a person is 14 years old, he says that he has an ideal to change the world. When a person is 40 years old, he is too naive to say that he wants to change the world. However, if a person does not make any efforts to change the world all his life, he is too selfish. So I always try my best to do it, hoping to change something, even a little.
The camera set up the machine, and the colleagues stuffed some things into the girls’ pockets, chocolate, or ballpoint pens. The girl was very clever and said thank you to everyone. I cleaned the girl’s face and said goodbye to her. She drove the sheep across the stream, and the dirty stream flooded her calf. She walked on as we said, without stopping or turning back.
Watched her figure gradually disappear, we all silent, who also didn’t speak.
This was in the mid-1990s, and I hope the current Qingjian is already a real Qingjian.