The Unforbidden City

The Unforbidden City

Urban Renewal In Modern China

The Unforbidden City follows three inhabitants of Source Street, a Fourteenth Century alley in Beijing, as they wait for the imminent destruction of their homes. Plans for a new park to surround French architect Paul Andreu’s controversial ‘floating egg’ National Grand Theater – wedged in between the Great Hall of the People and Zhongnanhai (the Chinese Kremlin) – have meant that for years, the area’s inhabitants have lived under the looming threat of displacement. When this will happen and how they will be affected, nobody seems to know.


Directed and written by: Floris-Jan van Luyn
Producer: Submarine
Co-producer: VPRO/ Channel 4
Release: 2008
Length: 58 min


Director: Floris Jan van Luyn
Producers: Femke Wolting, Bruno Felix
Photography: Stef Tijdink N.S.C
Sound recordists: Xiao Jing, Ma Niu
Editor: Nathalie Alonso Casale, Ernst Reijseger
With: Gao Li, Zhao Xinqiang, Wang Qingbian, Dong Tongju, Wang Daye
And the families: Zhao, Gao, Dong
Production China: Song Gang
Line producers: Janneke van de Kerkhof, Joos Maaskant
Color grading: Martin Klein – Filmmore
Audio postproduction: Wiebe de Boer, Maurits Overdulven, Soundpalette Rotterdam
Music recording: Dick Lukas
Online: Laurent Fluttert – Neon Media Rotterdam
Commissioning editor VPRO: Barbara Truyen

The development of this film was supported by the Netherlands Architecture Fund and the Media Program of the European Union

The production was supported by the Dutch Cultural Broadcasting Fund and the Rotterdam Film Fund

A Submarine production in coproduction with VPRO Television

© 2008 Submarine / VPRO