“Paris, Ni Hao“, a 40-minute documentary film by Princeton University junior Sharon Deng, will have its world premiere at two screenings at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 20 and at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 23, in McCormick Hall, Room 101, adjacent to the Princeton University Art Museum. The film captures the stories of eight first and second-generation Chinese immigrants who must reinvent their identities and lifestyles to thrive in their new surroundings.
Filmed in French and Chinese with English subtitles, “Paris, Ni Hao” reveals the resilience of the Chinese community in Paris. But it also underscores the universal complications of arriving without friends or family or even legal status in a distant and unfamiliar place. Like many of those it follows, the film looks ahead, documenting the rise of a new generation identifying with two cultures, speaking two languages, and coming to terms with their heritage while demanding acceptance and the right to pursue a better life.
Each screening will be followed by a talkback led by Deng and one of the film’s main characters, Rui Wang. As co-founder and president of the Association of Young Chinese in France (AJCF), Wang has played a central role in promoting Chinese culture, helping new immigrant children transition into the French education system, and fighting discrimination and street violence against minorities.
“Paris, Ni Hao” was produced with the generous support of a Martin A. Dale ’53 Summer Award, given annually by the Office of the Dean of the College to a small number of Princeton University sophomores to pursue worthy projects that provide important opportunities for personal growth, foster independence, creativity, and leadership skills, and broaden or deepen some area of special interest. The film was produced under the guidance of award-winning filmmaker Purcell Carson of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Additional support was provided by Butler College, Wilson College, the Department of East Asian Studies, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication, the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities, and Global China Connection.
A trailer and other information can be found at parisnihao.com.