Beijing Bubbles - Punk and Rock in China's Capital

Director’s Note

When we started research in 2004, we hardly knew anything about punk and rock in Beijing. We never thought we could achieve so much in only a few weeks of shooting. But then everything got pretty easy in this country in which we felt quite alienated at first: we picked up a few CDs, called a friend, who knew someone and the same afternoon we had our first appointment with the first band. The musicians invited us to their rehearsal room or apartment, strolled with us trough the neighbourhood or took us to a restaurant and in the evenings to their concerts. There we often met the members of the second band, drank with them and did first interviews. The other day we were asked to a karaoke bar or even to come for a visit of someone’s parents. Quite like a chain reaction.  

We have grown up with punk rock in Germany and as a pop journalist and owner of a label often were disappointed, how much the ideals of this music degenerated to an empty fashion. All the more we were enthused finding the punk rocks visions at the other side of the world in China. And even more: It was like, if in this society, with its restrictive traditions and its omnipresent pressure to perform well, punks holy seriousness has found its full right to exist. Maybe it was also this solidarity that all musicians spontaneously let us join their lifes. Suddenly we had more then 40 hours of material from which we wanted to montage a rough film full of energy about an unknown subculture in Chinas capital - with music rarely heard in the west. About people, who, with as much courage as dreamy ideals, consequently go their own way besides established and accepted structures in an authoritarian state.