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'China Rising' next in World Travel Series of films
Monday, March 02, 2015

'China Rising' next in World Travel Series of films

An award-winning filmmaker will personally present his new film on China on Saturday, April 11 as part of the World Travel Series at Fredonia.

“China Rising” with Dale Johnson will be screened beginning at 7:30 p.m. in King Concert Hall at Rockefeller Arts Center.

China is a land of contrast. History and traditions dating back centuries are all around. At the same time, modern China is a land with a rising middle class and a surging economy. Johnson explores both sides of the land in his brand new film.

“One American tourist remarked recently that what China has achieved in 20 years took the U.S. 100 years to accomplish,” Johnson said. “He was referring to the upscale, modernist look of Shanghai with its 24 million people, which makes it three times larger than New York City. There are 3,000 buildings in Shanghai that are higher than 30 stories and the Shanghai World Financial Tower tops out at 121 stories.”

At the same time, the filmmaker noted there is a great respect in China for the country’s past.

“Everywhere there are tourists by the hundreds. They are Chinese tourists. Not so many are foreigners,” Johnson said. “The Chinese in great numbers are visiting all the monuments and historic places in China today. On the Great Wall, which they call the Long Wall, Chinese tourists are everywhere.”

During his time in China, Mr. Johnson said there were quite a few surprises.

“I had expected China to be sort of a dirty place with littered streets. Not true. Not true today,” he said. “At five in the morning, street sweepers will be working the streets of the major cities. In Harbin for instance, which is one of the smaller cities of China at eight and a half million, after the streets were swept, motorized tank trucks would pass through washing the streets. This continued throughout the day.”

Among the challenges in getting around China was dealing with the abundant traffic.

“China does indeed have lots of cars. There are at least 20 Chinese companies that manufacture autos and many of the world’s auto builders also make or assemble cars in China,” Johnson said. “In 2013, more cars were purchased in China than were purchased in the U.S. You can see the manifestation of that buying spree in the traffic. There are eight lane highways through the cities and traffic seems to fill them all. We often use the term ‘unbelievable’ in our conversation, but traffic in China truly is ‘unbelievable’ to our American sensibilities. Vehicles casually pull in front of other drivers with impunity, trusting that the driver behind won’t actually crash into them.”

Johnson has his own company, Trailwood Films, which produces commercials and documentaries. His film production for the National Forest Service won a Gold Medal at the New York International Film Festival.

Johnson was added to the Travelogue Hall of Fame and awarded the “Best of Show” at the 2008 Travel Film Convention. He makes his home in Lubbock, Texas.

Tickets will be available at the door for this general admission event or may be purchased in advance through the Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center (673-3501 or fredonia.edu/tickets). One child 12 and under is admitted free with each adult ticket purchased.

The World Travel Series is sponsored by Fredonia Place as part of the 2014-15 Lake Shore Savings Season.

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