BBC Documentary Introduces China's Tang-dynasty Poet Du Fu to The West

Authors: Go Chengdu

2020-04-23

BBC launches its first documentary about Chinese poet Du Fu, displays charm of traditional Chinese literature and morden Chinese cities.
Du Fu: China's Greatest Poet, a 58-minute documentary released on April 7 on BBC Four, has attracted worldwide attention. Dubbed "China's greatest poet," Du Fu was first introduced to the Western world in documentary form.
Michael Wood, an accomplished television historian and the host, visited China to retrace Du's steps. The BBC also invited British actor Sir Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf in the "Lord of the Rings," to read in English 15 poems and articles translated from Du Fu.
Sir Ian McKellen reads writings by Du Fu. /BBC
The documentary also compared Du to Dante and Shakespeare to help audiences better understand the poet's great achievements in literature.
In the documentary, Wood not only traces the turbulent life of the "master of poetry," but also follows in his footsteps and retraces his path, including Xi'an and Chengdu, to explore his life and discover what the poet means to China and the Chinese people.
Wood made Jinli Street as the first stop of his Chengdu tour.
In the city, Wood chose the "Chengdu Mansion" as its background music.

Jinli is one of the most popular tourist destinations in downtown Chengdu, featuring old-style buildings, local snacks and folk handicraft shops.
The site tops the list of The World's 21 Most Beautiful Streets released by the travel channel of the official website of CNN on December 25, 2019. Jinli is also the only entry from China in the list, acclaimed for its unique traditional characteristics and profound culture.
The second stop of the trip, He visited Du Fu Thatched Cottage Museum.
Du Fu Thatched Cottage is a park and museum in honour of Du Fu.
Du Fu (712-770) took refuge in Chengdu and spent four years in the city, living at a thatched cottage on the Huanhua Stream (浣花溪) in the west of Chengdu, where he produced more than 400 oft-quoted and widely loved poems.

Sources: ChinaDaily, CGTN, Chengdu Plus

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