DECEMBER 10, 2021
USA | 13 minutes | 2020
Documentary short film directed by Hangcheng Xu
Featuring Chuyu Tian, Erin Ramirez
A documentary shot in the filmmaker’s neighborhood in New York City during the pandemic in 2020 documenting a Chinese woman leaving the U.S., and a lonely man writing about his obsession with the haka. It’s a film about difficult decisions, farewells, and uncertainty of the future in the midst of a global pandemic.
Winter Travels, directed by Hangcheng Xu, is a contemplative look at how our lives were upended during a global pandemic. It follows a lonely man who spends his time watching videos of the haka Maori dance online and a Chinese woman who plans on leaving the US.
A quiet portrait, the film captures how the pandemic made simple decisions we used to make without any second thought a difficult life-changing decision. Travel became difficult and leaving one place to go to another could mean not returning for a pro-longed period of time. It left us with so much more time to think about things and people we thought we had long forgotten.
Simplistically and gorgeously shot, the documentary is an exploration of uncertainty and human connections during an unprecedented time. And it gives us a beautiful reminder that we are all still here.
From the Director
“Winter Travels” is a film shot in my neighborhood in New York City during the pandemic in 2020. It’s about a Chinese woman headed back to her home country and a lonely man writing about his obsession with the haka dance. As a Chinese filmmaker based in New York, I found 2020 a time when simple decisions became difficult to make, and farewells could mean departures with no returns, especially when one is traveling across borders. As the pandemic spread, the U.S.-China tension escalated, and racism emerged to the surface of people’s daily interactions, I made this loosely structured film about a woman unwillingly bidding farewell to her life in the U.S. and a man attempting to reconnect with an unnamed friend. I believe, even at a time when the future is too obscure to see, there is something shared by all of us, something that we could lean on to, whenever in desperation or loneliness. That “something” might be as simple as knowing each other’s presence in the world.
Winter Travels is one of the many great projects shared with CineAsian Films through our submissions process. If you’d like to join them, submit your film.
Director, Writer, Producer: Hangcheng Xu
Co-Writer: Randy Dong