The Last Storytelling Masters (书匠)

Nominated for

Best Cinematography

Directed by

Cao Jianbiao

107' • China • 2020

With stunning images, “The Last Storytelling Masters” tells the survival condition and fate of the last few blind storytelling artists in western China. The blind storytelling artist is known as the “storytelling master”. The storytelling master with a lute is said to be the incarnation of an ancient prince. He is free from kneeling when worshipping the gods. However, with the rapid development of the economy over the years, the storytelling market has gradually been occupied by the clear-sighted artists, and the blind storytelling masters have gradually been marginalized or even eliminated. Cao Bozhi, a well-known cultural scholar, deeply feels that it is the storytelling of the blind artists that contains the essence of the art of storytelling. Therefore, he traveled all over Northern Shaanxi to search for blind storytelling masters in order to save the almost disappearing folk art. After more than a year, Cao Bozhi has to admit that the storytelling masters have become a distant memory.