Four Journeys

Personal documentary in which Louis Hothothot confronts his Chinese family with painful questions about tense family ties.

Time & Tickets

As a second child, Louis Hothothot was illegal because of China’s one-child policy. His father paid a high price for Louis’ birth: he had to pay three years’ salary and give up his political career. After years of living in Europe, Louis travels back to China in FOUR JOURNEYS to discover his family history. His parents and sister live in a new flat in Beijing. In an old photograph, Louis’ parents pose with his sister with a portrait of Mao in the background. His mother is then three months pregnant. For a long time, the memory of this photo evoked feelings of guilt in Louis. Why did his parents decide to keep him? Why did his father withdraw from Mao, the political leader he admired so much?

Louis keeps a close eye on his family, asking confrontational questions that his parents dodge. The past must not be dredged up. While the filmmaker tries to find answers and mend the broken relationship with his parents and sister, they insist that he should have children of his own. In order to combat the ageing population, the two-child policy is introduced and once again it is China’s birth policy that puts pressure on family relationships.

Louis Hothothot, Netherlands, 2021, 115 min. Chinese spoken, Dutch subtitles.
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