David Borenstein | China | 2016 | Documentary | 73 min | 14A
Early in Dream Empire, filmmaker David Borenstein encapsulates the scale of China’s recent building boom with a mind-boggling statistic: between 2012 and 2014, more concrete was poured in China than had been used in the US throughout the entire 20th century. More surreal still is how the resulting properties were marketed – foreigners were recruited virtually at random, stuffed into kitschy costumes, and made to perform for potential investors, their exotic appearances expected to lend the construction projects an air of global sophistication. Following Yana, the ambitious young co-founder of one of Chongqing’s leading rent-a- foreigner agencies, Borenstein’s feature debut gives a fascinating human dimension to China’s gargantuan—and grossly unsustainable—development bubble. Website
Director David Borenstein is an American director currently based in Copenhagen. He has directed films for ARTE, Al Jazeera English, DR Horisont, NYTimes, with more underway. He was a cinematographer and Producer for the Sundance-funded film The Hand that Feeds, winner of the audience award at the Full Frame Film Festival. A China scholar, he received PhD training in Anthropology at City University of New York. He began developing China Dreamland while on a Fulbright scholarship in China, studying urbanization and real estate speculation. David speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese.