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Chinese Leiste

A documentary by Ullabritt Horn (Running time: 90 minutes)


Berlin, China, Ukraine...and no return A filmic journey with Anton Tchen, aka Han Sen 'I entered the empty classroom. Way at the back sat a small boy, who was trying to copy Chinese characters with a pen and a brush. He couldn't do it, and tears of frustration ran off his face and smeared the ink...' Anton Tchen, born 1925 in Berlin, was a boy of his era: he played in the street, fought with other boys and watched the Reichstag burn when he was eight years old...But the children he played with pulled their eyes into slants and sang the nursery rhyme 'A Chinese with a Double Bass'. Because the genuine Berliner looked Chinese. Anton's parents participated in the Shanghai student protests in 1919 and fled to Berlin in 1924. Officially registered as students, they soon became professionals in the class struggles in 'red Berlin'. Anton met, more or less in his living room, Zhou Enlai, Zouh De and other future leaders of the Chinese Communist party.
Perhaps it was homesickness that led his father to name him Han Sen, 'born in China', although Han Sen could neither write nor speak Chinese. In 1933, when the family emigrated out of Nazi Germany, the eight-year-old began a journey that would last a lifetime: from Switzerland to China and Siberia, and finally to Charkow in the Ukraine, where he lives today. The film tells the story of a man who personally experienced some of the most dramatic turns in 20th century history, from the rise of fascism in Germany, to the Spanish civil war in which his father participated, the Second World War in China and the subsequent civil war that he witnessed in the legendary cave city and power center of Mao Zedong, Yen'an, and, finally, Stalin's fall in the Soviet Union, and perestroika in the Ukraine. A Chinese with a Double Bass is a filmic journey through the complicated life of an emigrant. Today, he still answers the question of his identity and origin without hesitation and with a genuine accent: 'Berliner!'
Producer: Lichtilm Wolfgang Bergmann Kasparstr. 26, 50670 Köln
Tel.: 0049–221-9726517
Fax: 0049–221-9726518
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Co-Produced by Synchro Film und Video GmbH Alexander Wieser Schottenfeldgasse 14, A-1070 Wien
Tel.: 0043-1-5249310 Fax: 0043-1-5249310-20
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