We Went to Wonderland

Great Britain/China 2007, Documentary, 78' Director, Screenplay & DoP Xiaolu Guo | Editor, Sound, Music & Production Philippe Ciompi

The old Chinese man has no voice. But he writes notes:
"Water is so good in the West".
"Flowers are long dead on Karl Marx's grave".
"English trains don't respect people's time".
"When Picasso died, my daughter was born".

He observes the drifting clouds; his wife looks at the Houses of Parliament. As he wanders into the Vatican, his wife is still praising the English parks. This is the first (and maybe the last) time they leave China. He wants to see the whole world before he dies, but her heart longs for home.

Guo Xiaolu uses a digital stills camera's movie function to record her elderly parent's journey to the West. Shot in black and white with this smallest of equipment, the film achieves exceptional freedom of style and intimacy.
We Went to Wonderland portraits a philosophical journey, going through cultural conflicts, memories of personal histories, shadows of the turmoil of China's past, glimpses of the significance of two individuals in a global environment.

As ancient Taoist master Lao Tzu said: "The further you go, the less you understand".

Guo Xiaolu's short film Address Unknown is also being shown in the "Focus on China" section at this year's Dortmund|Cologne International Women's Film Festival.


GUO XIAOLU was born 1971 in a village on the coast of the South Chinese Sea. At the age of 18, she moved to Beijing, studied at the Film Academy there and wrote five novels. In June of 2003, she moved to London.

Xiaolu Guo
Great Britain
Focus: China