The Road 大路朝天 (2015)

  • Documentary
  • 1h 35m

A highway is waiting to go through a quiet village in Hunan, a province in central China. Due to the high costs, the construction companies and a large number of migrant workers who make livings on road work flooded here. In the following four years, they root in this strange place to gain profits, but also shed sweat and blood, or even accidentally lose their precious lives. With their arrival, local villages and peasants are forced to change their lives - land was expropriated, houses were demolished, temples were rebuilt, and people’s hearts and morals were repeatedly subjected to subtle but continuous shocks. The lives and fates of the road builders and the locals, two different groups, are closely linked with the road, interwoven with each other, occasionally colliding, either joyous or sad; happy or bitter. In a sense, this arduous journey is emblematic of the country’s development.

The Director’s Profile

Zhang Zanbo is an independent film director and screenwriter graduated from the Beijing Film Academy. He has been writing film columns for various media as an independent film critic and published hundreds of thousands of words of film reviews and research articles in various film publications. Later on, he got engaged in independent documentary filming and founded the “Asymptotic Film Studio”. His works have been nominated in a number of international film festivals including Rotterdam International Film Festival, Gothenburg International Film Festival, Madrid International Documentary Film Festival, Golden Horse Awards, Hong Kong Independent Film Festival and Beijing Independent Film Festival.

Selected Filmography

  • Heavenly Fall (2009)
  • Love Songs (2010)
  • There is a kind of quiet called solemnity (2011)
  • No. 3, Lane 28, Lane 243, Dehe Road (2010)
  • Red White Blue (2011)
  • Famous Flame (2011)
  • What are we talking about when talking about sex (2011)


Zhang Zanbo

Executive Producer

Axel Arnö


Zhang Zanbo






China, Denmark


Britdoc Foundation