A HERITAGE OF WALLS: THE CITY WALL OF XI'AN, 2015


                             The Bell Tower

                            The Bell Tower

This documentary film is about the City Wall of Xi’an, which in its extant form is a late fourteenth century structure built by the Ming dynasty and faced with brick two hundred years later. It tells the story from four different perspectives: first, it looks at the importance of walls generally in ancient Chinese civilisation; secondly, it traces the physical construction and materials used to build it; thirdly, it considers the wall as a significant aesthetic monument to the Chinese architectural and cultural heritage; and, lastly, as a cultural and political artefact which symbolises this proud and ancient city and its people.

                           A view of the moat

                          A view of the moat

It includes historical footage of the 1926 siege of Xi’an, several clips of the destruction and rebuilding in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as some hitherto unseen features. There are four expert interviews, one by a renowned culture expert, one by an archaeologist who has worked on earlier walls in the city, one by the architect responsible for the new layout of the South Gate, and one by an architect who has drawn on the wall as inspiration for contemporary buildings. In addition, there are four short interviews with enthusiastic visiting tourists.

The musical soundtrack to the film is entirely played by well-known musicians from Xi’an. The film was sponsored by the Shaanxi Xi’an City Wall Protection Foundation, of which Edward Burman is an Honorary Trustee.

Edward wrote the script, directed the film, and is the narrator of the English version. It was made as a co-production between his company EB Cultural Enterprises Ltd (HK) and Shaanxi Eton Cultural Exchange Co. Ltd. The copyright belongs to the Foundation, but a four-minute edited version without copyright items may be seen here:

                                                               The South-East Corner Tower

                                                              The South-East Corner Tower


Music from the soundtrack: Spring Comes to Suzhou