The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World
Part of the documentary film series
Visions of a New China
The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World 世界最大的中国餐馆
Dir. CHEN Weijun 陈为军
2008. China/UK/Netherlands/Denmark. 80 min. Digibeta. English subtitles.
Situated in Changsha, Hunan is the world’s biggest Chinese restaurant, which seats up to 5,000 diners and employs 1,000 staff. A sprawling complex containing pavilions in the style of traditional Chinese architecture, the restaurant is owned by Qin Linzi, a middle-aged female self-starter who used to earn 30 RMB a month. Documenting the restaurant’s day-to-day operation, the film shows routine slogan-chanting sessions intended to boost morale among the staff. A perceptive portrait of Chinese society, this engaging documentary provides a window into traditional Chinese customs that often revolve around banquets.
"[A] wonderful microcosm of China at large… a lively, accessible survey." — Peter Debruge, Variety
"Fine example of what documentary film can be. It is fascinating, deeply entertaining." — Todd Brown, Twitch
Watch a trailer:
CHEN Weijun (b. 1973) is a documentary director and producer living in Wuhan, China. After graduating from the journalism program at Sichuan University in 1992 he joined the documentary production department of the Wuhan regional TV station. His first film, My Life Is My Philosophy, was nominated for best documentary of the year by the Chinese National Association of Broadcasters. In 2003 he completed To Live Is Better Than To Die, which was awarded a Peabody and Grierson award, as well at the Rudolf Vrba Award from the One World Festival.
The Visions of a New China film series is supported in part by a grant from the Open Society Foundations. Additional support is provided by the Center on U.S.-China Relations and New York State Council on the Arts.
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