“People are like birds; where there is food, they will fly there… there are no boundaries.”
About the Film
When Olivier and Rui joined their parents at the age of seven as undocumented immigrants in Paris, neither of them knew if they will ever belong to their new city. When Xue left China as a political refugee at the age of 40, he brought to Paris the taste of home with his cooking pot. As tourists swarm on the street of Paris in awe of its beauty and as academics study the city from the grand scale of urban theories, the story of Paris seen through the eyes of its Chinese immigrants goes quietly untold.
Like many first and second generation Chinese immigrants, Olivier, Rui and Xue are forced to reinvent their identities and life styles in order to survive. Paris, Ni Hao follows eight characters, each varying in age and occupation, into their homes, their restaurants, their factories, their meetings, their laboratories and their protests. Through the specificity of their experiences as first and second generation immigrants, the film takes an intimate look at immigration and elucidates the mixed emotions surrounding it.
By juxtaposing their stories and capturing the Paris that they call home, the film reveals the resilience of the Chinese community in Paris, but moreover it talks about the universal complication of arriving at a new place without friends or family, language or culture, or even legal status. With heart and optimism, the film also documents the rise of a new generation identifying with both cultures, speaking both languages, coming to terms with their heritage, demanding, and receiving responses, for each person’s right to have a better life.