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FreshPitch interview | 《Life as they like it》:What to do in old age


The 2018 FreshPitch shortlisted proposals,

And won the bronze award;

2018 China (guangzhou) international documentary film festival "one of the top ten",

And get CCTV9 millions to support


《Life as they like it》is about the grandfather and grandmother of director Yang lizhu, who did something very shocking: they divorced at the age of 80, ending their 60 years of arranged marriage. This event deeply triggered the thinking of Yang lizhu, why did they choose to divorce at this age? So she made a documentary about their divorce. She began to interview the family members, hoping to get to know his grandmother better through the memories and recollections of the family members.


From a film point of view


【FreshPitch】:What was the original intention of making the film?

【Director】:My grandma is a funny person, I have been using DV machine to record her, and then she and grandpa divorce, I began to shoot a documentary, want to through the shooting, explore the two old to this age also to divorce the reason.


【FreshPitch】:The film of 《Life as they like it》 has been renamed. Can you share the story with us?

【Director】: It is my graduate work, a 20-minute documentary film, which mainly tells the story of my grandfather. Later, I wanted to make the film into a 60-90 minute feature film, and on the basis of the short film, I added the role of my grandmother to explore the reason why my grandfather and grandmother divorced at the age of 80, so I changed the previous title.


【FreshPitch】:What did you learn after attending the FreshPitch?

【Director】:When I attended the FreshPitch, I got to know a lot of seniors in the industry, which broadened my horizon. My mentors also put forward a lot of substantive Suggestions on my film, which I think I gained a lot.


From the family point of view


【FreshPitch】:As a post-90s generation, how do you think about the decision of divorce? Will it have a special impact on your life?

【Director】:I have been living with my parents since I was a child, and only visit them during the holidays. Whenever she saw me, my grandmother would complain about the misfortune in  their marriage. Until she got alzheimer's disease, she could still remember every bit of the marriage. During their 60 years of arranged marriage, the two were so estranged that their children grew up in a noisy household and would rather be sent down to the countryside to live a hard life than go home. I should take warning from their failed marriage.


【FreshPitch】:What are the reactions of people around my grandparents' divorce? What do you think of it as a family?

【Director】:My grandparents had been separated for more than 30 years, because of the influence of The Times and social concepts. There is no need to worry too much about getting divorced at the age of 80. In their 80s, they can do whatever they want. Divorce in the family seem that they have no the meaning of the form, even is a childish behavior, I feel on the surface the divorce have no relationship, but still can't get away from there is love between them, I think they can only to the twilight, in a relatively free society, could do it again choice is a matter of great sense of ritual.


【FreshPitch】:How did you prepare for shooting the story of your grandparents? Did your family support you?

【Director】:The material of the film is basically shot by me alone, basically recording the life fragments of my grandparents, without too many striking pictures. Therefore, my grandpa and my family all supported me, and even gave me some advice during the shooting. I had a deep contact with grandpa in the shooting process, which I thought was very meaningful. I learned a lot of stories that grandpa had not mentioned before, which also aroused my interest in digging into grandpa's previous stories and the reasons for their divorce. As for my grandma, she didn't know that I was making a documentary due to her low education level and illness. She only knew that I was taking photos of her with my camera.


【FreshPitch】:In the trailer, we learn that grandma started to look for her first love after her divorce. Could you share the story with us?

【Director】:Grandma also took me to the shop. Some people said that the clerk's brother had already left here, but I had never heard of this person mentioned by grandma. Or maybe the character was dreamed up by grandma and exists only in her dreams.