Ma dai fu de zhen suo

Doctor Ma's Country Clinic
Huangyangchuan, a small town in Gansu province in the northwest of China. A barren and desolate region. Here Dr. Ma Bingcheng has his flourishing practice for traditional Chinese medicine. The local farmers come to his clinic and chat with each other about their troubles. The hard work out in the arid fields has left its mark on their faces and bodies. The doctor takes their pulse, concocts the appropriate remedy from a mixture of roots, herbs and tree bark and, asking questions in a quiet voice, tries to determine the cause of their illnesses. Some have attempted in vain to relocate to other regions. One old man suffers from silicosis, a lung disease he contracted working in the coal mine that once operated in the area. There is talk of how the wife of one of the men, bought in from Sichuan province, has run away. She’s not the first one to have tried to escape to her home town, they comment. Documentary filmmaker Cong Feng listens patiently to the conversations. The camera always stays close to these rural people and their problems. Their faces are gradually etched into your memory. In the end you are left with the impression of having come to know these people as well as if you had actually been there. At Dr. Ma’s Country Clinic, not only the physical complaints but also the emotional problems of these people whom the Chinese economic boom has forgotten are treated.
by Cong Feng People’s Republic of China 2008 215’

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