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Food documentaries in China, Do you know Li Ziqi



Do you like Li Ziqi?  

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  • Poll closed on 07/25/2020 at 03:05 AM


Li Ziqi(李子柒), a Chinese internet celebrity(网红,wǎng hóng) who cooks in village became the first Chinese-language creator with more than 10 million followers on YouTube. Subscribers(订阅者,dìng yuè zhě) watch(观看,guān kàn) her in the quiet countryside(农村,nóng cūn), farming, picking and finally, turn that freshness into delicious dishes.

Food documentaries in China, Do you know Li Ziqi

Ten years ago, CCTV’s food documentary “A Bite of China(《舌尖上的中国》)”, ushered in the “public age” of Chinese documentaries(纪录片,jì lù piàn) and spurred the creation of food documentaries(美食纪录片).

According to incomplete(不完全的,bù wán quán de) statistics, after the popularity of “A Bite of China”, more than 100 food documentaries have been made in the past few years, which is a prosperous scene(繁荣景象,fán róng jǐng xiàng) never seen in the country’s food documentary industry.

“There is no country in the world that has a food story like this.” Zhang Tongdao, director of the documentary center at Beijing Normal University, once told Nanfang Daily in an interview.

But some of those documentaries fall into the stereotype(刻板印象,kè bǎn yìn xiàng), where the story was not told in a proper way.

What kind of documentary can win audiences(观众,guān zhòng) over after “A Bite of China”?

Just like Li Ziqi’s videos, which integrates farming(务农,wù nóng ), rural life(田园生活,tián yuán shēng huó), and gourmet dishes. It seems like those with high ratings on Douban(豆瓣), a Chinese rating website have gone out of their own style.

Short videos(短视频,duǎn shì pín) are also more convenient(方便,fāng biàn) for the millions watching on smartphones(智能手机,zhì néng shǒu jī ).

Micro-documentaries such as “Food for one person”, “World of Hot-pot”, “One-meter bento” and “The tale of cookie” have made their mark. Its fresh and pleasant rhythm(节奏,jié zòu) and loving eating atmosphere(氛围,fēn wéi) are popular among netizens(网友,wǎng yǒu), and the form of its short videos is more in line with the habit of “Internet generation” viewers to browse(浏览,liú lǎn) in fragments(片段,piàn duàn).

Ten minutes long, the cooking and presentation process is just right to satisfy people’s curiosity(好奇心,hào qí xīn) and patience(耐心,nài xīn).

Good looking and good taste are the basic requirements(基本要求,jī běn yāo qiú) for a successful food documentary. How to make a greasy kitchen, especially the kitchen table environment of many small stalls(小摊,xiǎo tān) become “clean” and delicious is a challenge(挑战,tiǎo zhàn) to the documentary on food.

From rice noodles(米线,mǐ xiàn) to deep-fried dough sticks(油条,yóu tiáo), one dish at a time,one episode with one story.

“Breakfast China(《早餐中国》),” a micro-documentary presenting breakfasts at small stalls across China, zooms in and focuses on the food detail in pots to solve this problem.

“This is what real life is, not fancy, but tasty,” commented fans on Douban.


You can view this essays at this website too:  chinesegirl.me   


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