On April 25, 2018, NYU Africa House presented a film screening of “Guangzhou Dream Factory.” Following the screening, the filmmakers, Christiane Badgley and Erica Marcus, discussed their work and heard from audience members during a Q & A session.
Immigration, globalization, Chinese factories, and African dreams…GUANGZHOU DREAM FACTORY weaves stories of Africans chasing alluring, yet elusive, “Made in China” dreams into a compelling critique of 21st-century global capitalism. Guangzhou, a.k.a. Canton, is southern China’s booming commercial center. A mecca of mass consumption, the city’s vast international trading centers attract more than half a million Africans each year. Most are doing business in China to buy goods they’ll sell back in Africa. But some choose to stay, and for these Africans, China looks like the new land of opportunity, a place where anything is possible. But is it? Featuring a dynamic cast of men and women from Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda, GUANGZHOU DREAM FACTORY provides a rare glimpse of African aspirations in an age of endless outsourcing.
Meet the Filmmakers:
Christiane Badgley, Director and Co-Producer – Christiane Badgley is a director and editor of award-winning documentaries and multimedia work. Christiane began her career in the San Francisco Bay Area where she was a frequent collaborator of the acclaimed African American director, Marlon Riggs (she worked with him until his death in 1994, completing his last film, Black Is…Black Ain’t, posthumously). Christiane first worked in Ghana more than 25 years ago and has continued working on projects in Africa and with prominent African directors since that time. In recent years Christiane has focused her attention on the extractive industries and controversial U.S. investments in West and Central Africa, writing and producing film and new media work for multiple broadcast and online outlets.
Erica Marcus, Co-Producer – Erica Marcus was one of the first Americans to study and work in China after the normalization of relations between the United States and China (1979). She began her film career in the early 1980s working in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, she assisted the Cannes award-winning filmmaker Hu Jin Quan (胡金铨 or King Hu). Erica has since produced documentary films that have screened at numerous festivals including Sundance, Berlin, and Locarno, and been broadcast on PBS and European TV networks.
Photo Credit: Christiane Badgley and James Costello