Adam K. Frost

The End of Bitterness

Friday 26 October, 9:15, University of Eastern Finland, Aurora, Auditorium AU100

China 2017 | 37 min | Producer: Jo Chen and Jingyan Dong | Country of shooting: China

In recent decades China has experienced a remarkable rise, yet the Chinese society has also become increasingly unequal. Rural citizens have not been able to fully reap the benefits of growing national prosperity. With a widening gulf between China’s affluent cities and its impoverished countryside, some rural poor have turned to begging. The End of Bitterness explores the phenomenon of begging in the context of a rapidly changing society. Following the personal stories of three individuals, the film offers a window into the everyday lives of beggars, both in the cities where they work and in the rural communities that they call home. It shows that while begging is a practice that takes place in urban space, it is a phenomenon born of poverty in the countryside. Moreover, it reveals that for the rural poor, begging is often not just about survival; it is an activity which provides a critical source of income that is used to improve the lives of beggars and those of their families.