CEL Lens Documentary Series

CEL Lens is a documentary viewing and discussion series inaugurated in Spring 2021. 

We hope these documentaries will provide a means for viewers to gain concrete understandings on different social issues in our world today, particularly in China. Through facilitated discussions following each screening, we aim to create opportunities for reflection and connection among the participants. 

Inquiries can be directed to CEL Coordinator Chunhao Qian at cq7@nyu.edu

Fall 2023 Events:

Fri, Sep 15, 4-7PM  Bike and Electronic Piano (自行车与旧电钢)(Trailer) which features two Chinese grassroot musicians' life paths.

Fri, Oct 20, 4-6:30PM Rooted 《落地生根》(Trailer) which documents a Yunnan Province village’s struggle to build its first paved road.

Spring 2022 Events:

March 4 Please Remember Me + Dementia Center Tour. Engage page.

Fall 2021 Events

  • 10/22 2:00 to 5:00pm Tour & Film Screening at Dementia Friendly Community Center
    NGO Jingmei collaborates with local government to establish centers for dementia care and prevention. Join us for a tour of the center in Yangjing Neighborhood close to NYUSH, followed by screening and discussion of documentary film Please Remember Me. Shuttle from AB and English Translation provided. 

Please remember me

  • 11/19 My Dear Beloved 梧桐树. This screening will be followed by a workshop on Chinese sign language. 

Fall 2021 Past Events

  • 9/24 Still Tomorrow 摇摇晃晃的人间 

Still Tomorrow Poster

Spring 2021 


Doc Screening


Schedule: (all films have English subtitles)

  • Friday, Feb. 5  归途列车 Last Train Home

  • Friday, Feb. 26  城市梦 City Dream

  • Friday, Mar. 12   杀马特我爱你 We Were Smart

  • Friday, Mar. 26  棒!少年 Tough Out

Last Train Home

Annually, an estimated 130 million factories workers in China migrate from their city of employment back to the village they grew up in. This documentary spotlights married couple Chen and Zhang as they make their own journey. Chen and Zhang must struggle to reconnect with their children, whom they see only once a year. When they discover that their daughter has decided to drop out of school to work at a factory herself, they begin questioning the value of their sacrifice.


(Description credit: Rotten Tomatoes)

City Dream

Weijun Chen's lively new film documents the struggles of Wang Tiancheng, an elderly and cantankerous street vendor in Wuhan, China, whose business is threatened by the development of a new retail district.


(Description Credit: Toronto International Film Festival)

We Were Smart

We Were Smart, directed by Li Yifan, is "a gripping foray into a vibrant but shunned subculture born of young migrant workers who fueled China’s manufacturing boom in the mid 2000s."


(Description Credit: Radiichina.com)

Tough Out

Carrying heavy burdens from shattered families, a group of boys learn to play baseball. With struggles in the field and to find out their identity, could this be their way out in life?