Bridge across troubled waters

Updated: 2013-01-06 11:25

By Sun Yuanqing (China Daily)

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Gaillard sets the movie in Wuhan, a provincial capital of Hubei province, as a contrast to metropolitan Shanghai, to demonstrate the diversity of the country.

"The culture there is very different," he says. "I realized for the first time that China is a huge country and there are lots of different cultures inside. People in Wuhan are very warm-hearted; Shanghai is more for business. People have no time for others. They only have time for business. I want to show the contrast of the two cities, and of the two cultures."

Gaillard came to China eight years ago with his wife Yan Mi, a Beijing native. The two met in France when they were students.

Before the movie, Gaillard made two documentaries - Wo Ai Ni (I Love You), about his first trip to China and Doctor Wang, about the life of a blind masseur, who is also a friend of Gaillard.

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 After working at the French embassy in Beijing for about a year, Gaillard moved to Shanghai with Yan.

 There he met a very different kind of foreign national. Unlike Beijing, where many foreigners work for official organizations, in Shanghai it's common to see foreigners taking on jobs like salesmen and waiters.

The more diversified foreign population in Shanghai has been a major inspiration for Gaillard. Paul in the movie, for instance, is a combination of himself and two Shanghai friends - one who works as an IT engineer and another who plays in a local band.

While the movie is based on a Chinese-French couple, Gaillard says its message is broader than cross-cultural relationships.

"It's never easy for a couple to get along," he says. "For a couple from different cultures, it's even more difficult. But even if there is difficulty, it's possible to get along together. Love is like a garden, we both have to take time to care for it so that it can grow more lushly."

Gaillard is now preparing for his next movie, which will also be a cross-cultural love story of a Chinese man and a French woman. Gaillard wants the movie to get even closer to reality.

Shot in both China and France, Gaillard says his next movie is set to be finished in 2013.

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