To make sense of the present filmmaker and animation artist Lei Lei plunges into the recent history of China, and in particular the history of his family. It is a history of turmoil, what with the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. To visualize this, Lei utilizes a highly original mix of animation techniques: from paper clippings to colourful clay dolls. Even his hand can be seen. In this nigh-surrealist pop-art animation, Lei puts his father Jiaqi forward as narrator.
The 1950s and 1960s were tough times for the Lei family. Like millions of others, Lei's grandfather Ting was sent to the countryside, and thus separated from his children. When his wife dies, the children, among whom Jiaqi, are sent to an orphanage. Later, Ting is branded a class traitor and disappears into a re-education centre. The family is split, but they write to each other often – their bond remains strong.
LEI LEI (1985, China) graduated in Animation from Qinghua University and works as an independent filmmaker and experimental animation artist. His animation shorts include This Is Love (Best Narrative Short Award at Ottawa IFF 2010). His work has been exhibited worldwide. His mid-length documentary Breathless Animals won Best Mid-length Documentary at Cinéma Vérité. Ningdu is his first animation feature.