It is a 90-minute film, but it took director Gu Jun seven years to make.
The official documentary about the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, "Dream Weavers 2008," made its debut at the China Film Archive on June 28.
The film is a grand present for the Olympics. It gives panoramic glimpses of a nation on track for the biggest sporting event on the planet. With the construction of the National Stadium as the main storyline, the film documents the lives of five groups of ordinary people. They include star hurdler Liu Xiang and his path to success, the workers who built the National Stadium, a local family who had to move to make way for the construction of the stadium; three young gymnasts in training and their trials and tribulations; and an Olympic security guard team.
Those who have seen the film said they found it touching, and they have a lot of respect for the characters whose lives it documents.
"I like the film very much indeed," said Bai Jingrui, a middle-aged researcher at the China Film Archive. "It must be so hard to take such a long time to make it.
"I especially like the story of the security guard team. It reminds me of the spirit in sports and in the recent earthquake rescue. Every Chinese will do their best when needed. Beijing's 2008 Olympics are now in the world spotlight. The film help recalls that it was not easy, but it was a worthwhile process. We are building up our confidence. Jia You Zhong Guo!"
Gao Shan, an officer at the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, or BOCOG, said he is very impressed by the film's geniality to real life.
"I am much impressed by the movie that begins with the ordinary family playing mah-jong and considering how much the government will pay for their house, since they had to move to make way for the stadium," Gao said. "This is different from other official documentary films we saw in the past. And the five interdependent stories are well connected to each other with clear clues in perfect tempo."
Gao said he agrees with the director's decision to document the growth of three young gymnasts in training.
"It takes seven years for a child to grow into a mature gymnast," Gao said. "It is worth filming their athletic development. I was deeply touched when I saw the tears of the little girl on the balance beam."
Przemek, a Pole who saw the documentary, said he was very proud of the film, too.
"Of course, the movie is great," he said. "Actually, the best part is that it chose many angles to the story. So there are tears and also glamorous parts. We also can learn a lot of things about how to struggle and improve ourselves to achieve the best. I like it. I like it so much. So, Zhong Guo Jia You!"
Gu Jun, the 41-year-old director of the film, sobbed several times when she recalled the production team's hard work.
"We kept doing the film, editing until the last minute when we agreed on the final work," Gu said. "All of us cried that afternoon..."
She said she felt relieved when people who had seen her film congratulated her, gave her a hug or asked for a photo.
"If the audiences are touched by the film, for it deeply touches the director first," Gu said. "That is what always compels me to record it and show it to our audiences."
When asked about where she got the idea for the film, Gu talks about the documentary's name "Dream Weavers 2008."
"We focus a lot on the weaving process of dreams," she said. "Just like what we captioned at the end of the film: 'Holding our dreams in our hands, we walk on the road with sweat and tears until we finally weave the big dream of our Olympics.'"
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