Shangri-La, Paradise under Construction

dir. Mirka Duijn, Nina Spiering / 2022 / Netherlands, Sweden / 97min.
Mirka Duijn traces the history of the image of Shangri-La, the famous imaginary paradise from the novel “Lost Horizon” (1933).

In this essayistic travelogue Mirka Duijn traces the history of the image of Shangri-La, the famous imaginary paradise from the novel “Lost Horizon” (1933). Two decades ago Deqin, a Tibetan region in China, uncovered evidence proving that it was the original Shangri-La of legend. This is quite impossible because Shangri-La is a fiction, made up by British novelist James Hilton. Is this fairy tale what it seems to be? Her curiosity aroused, the filmmaker travels to the mountains of Tibetan-China with the intention to uncover the truth behind this evidence. But instead of getting answers, the maker gets entangled in a web of facts and fictions, truths and lies about the place and its colonial past. By picking apart the many strands to this surprisingly rich and complex story, this film trains a critical eye on tourism, media, and even documentary filmmaking itself.

97 min
country / year of production:
Netherlands, Sweden / 2022
Mirka Duijn, Nina Spiering
Mirka Duijn
Annemiek van Gorp, René Goossens / De Productie
selected festivals and awards:
2022 – IDFA Amsterdam
history travels China

Other films from this section WHAT THE DOC?!

Other movies with this tag travels