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WEDNESDAY, OCT 30 2019, 07:30 PM

The film takes the Chinese copy of Hallstatt, a small, idyllic town in Austria, as the starting point to explore China's fast urbanization.

Followed by Q&A with director Ella Raidel.

Director Ella Raidel and curator Marlene Rutzendorfer join the audience for a discussion on the diverse and sometimes surprising links between small town Austria and China´s rapid urbanization, citing the examples of two places that -at first sight - could not be more different: Hallstatt (AT) and Shenzhen (CHN). While both towns started out as small fishing villages, they have taken a very different path over the past sixty years. Yet fate, or much rather the ingenious dream of a Chinese real estate firm, have turned them into what you might call “twin cities.” The film takes us on a dream-like journey that combines features of a documentary with those of an essay film, a musical, and even a whodunnit. Urban planners give us an insight into the history and ever changing processes of Shenzhen, while the interviews also slowly reveal the story of how it was possible to copy an entire town without the knowledge of the people living there.

Among the Chinese "Double Happiness" refers to the happiness that’s increased twofold when a couple decides to spend the rest of their lives together. (...) Like every good film, this one poses more important questions than it answers—such as concerning the relationship between tradition, the modern age and the future; between the reality and late-capitalist dreams; and between essential progress and environmental protection. (Andreas Ungerböck, Translation: Steve Wilder)

Double Happiness, dir. Ella Raidel, documentary, AT/CN (2014), 75 min, German, English, Chinese with German subtitles.

Ella Raidel is a filmmaker and Asst. Professor at NTU Singapore. In her interdisciplinary works she focuses on the socio-cultural aspects of globalization, urbanization and the representation of images. In recent years, she has been concerned with China's unprecedented growth and rapid urban changes. In her latest research project Of Haunted Spaces, she is developing an essay film on Chinese Ghost cities. This film project follows her film-making on urban scapes affected by the consequences of global capitalism. Raidel's films have been presented at numerous International film festivals, among those International Film Festival Rotterdam, Hot Docs Canada, and Chicago International Film Festival. http://ellaraidel.com/

Marlene Rutzendorfer is an architect and co-curator of Architektur.Film.Sommer at Az W / Architecture Center Vienna. Marlene has curated shows and film programs for various institutions, including Az W, Belvedere21, Harvard Graduate School of Design, and the Austrian Cultural Forum Berlin. Her current project Simmering works with co-curator Karoline Mayer focuses on industrial sites in Vienna.  For her research on the architecture of Diébédo Francis Kéré, she has been awarded a Junior_Fellowship at IFK - International Research Center for Cultural Studies /University of Art and Design Linz in Vienna and a Visiting Scholarship at Harvard University, Department of History of Art and Architecture. She works for wonderland - platform for european architecture. www.wonderland.cx

Image Credit: Double Happiness © Ella Raidel