I’m Piet De Rycker, Co-writer and Co-Director on this beautiful movie.
From the first moment, we knew that making a movie with China as a main theme would be tricky to handle. The pitfalls were both that it could be seen as propaganda for the Chinese regime or could become a criticism for the Chinese Authorities.
In children movies I don’t want to take any political stand-points. It is important that we help to overcome difficult issues by mutual respect and understanding. If I can, without judging, help young children understand that these values are the first step to overcome your own fears of the unknown then I have helped the world in creating a new generation who will look different to China as we do know.
Rapidly China is developing into an economical force, overwhelming cities with overwhelming new architecture we haven’t experienced in Europe. Visionary moments of believe in the own strength. Through Art combined. Through Art inspired.
This is also the concept of Laura’s world. The amount of detail. The unexpected beauty of soft light filtered through a window falling on a piano. The beauty of musical art, both achieved in sound track as in story. A sound track played by Lang Lang the number 1 pianist of the world. And in story, Laura’s mother and Ling Ling’s aunt symbolise the highest form of creation. Being asked to perform your talent and Art in the Beijing Opera house, is an enormous achievement only possible by years of devoted training. If on top you have to chance to play with a musician of another culture. Playing a different instruments than we know, the pipa, but anyway connected by the same love for perfection and beauty.
And this reaching out for recreation a world through thoughts of beauty is not only performed inside the movie by story but even more important by collaborating with all the fine Chinese Artists we had the chance to meet in our own lives. Putting into practice what we teach the children. Feel, look and understand through beauty instead of brain. Trust your emotions and make other people become part of what is moving you, bring you to tears or bring you to laughs.
Eat together. Many artist from our company went to China to help the Chinese studio out and they all came back enthralled and enriched by the experiences they encountered both in work as in free time. None of us look at China anymore with a single minded view. We all learned to see China’s hopes, aims and struggles I a wider field of humanized contacts. The work that had to be done was huge, difficult and challenging. Making a movie isn’t a walk on the beach. But we made it, and made it together and made it right. Not as masters and slaves, but as free partners hoping to make somewhere a difference, in the way people treat each other.
As a message for a children’s movie this is strong. Learn from beauty. Learn from seeing, learn from reading, learn from hearing, learn to be open minded.