With a population of over one billion, and still growing, China has nipped
in as the fourth most powerful country after the USA, Japan and Germany.
Unwittingly spawned by capitalist society itself, this beast of the globalised
world now poses a direct threat to the economic and social welfare of
Europe and the United States. Any romantic notions about communist China
have been well and truly obliterated as the newest and most ruthless capitalists
elbow their way to the number one spot.
off-guard by this “unstoppable epidemic”, Europe can do little
more than lick its wounds as the market is swamped by cheap imported goods,
companies are forced to re-locate production to the Far East and Chinese
immigrants make their mark on local neighbourhoods.
themselves to be open-minded individuals, very few Europeans would admit
to harbouring any racist feelings towards the “yellow enemy”
despite the fact that their comments betray mistrust and intolerance.
“Yellow Fever” brings this contradiction to light through
the use of comical exaggeration and caricature, aiming to raise a smile
and at the same time encourage Westerners and Easterners to reflect on
the current situation.
Guillermo Asensio, Director of the short film “Yellow Fever”
How did this short film come about?
The starting point of “Yellow Fever” was the experience of
my friend Yue Yang, who plays the part of Chun Lin. She studied economics
in Japan and speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, English, Spanish, a
little French and Catalan. During the 10 years that she lived in Spain
as a legal resident, she put all her energy into obtaining a regular and
decent wage. Seeing that her efforts were futile she had no choice but
to return to China. The only explanation I have for this is the negative
attitude of Spaniards who see the Chinese as nothing more than people
to take advantage of.
Do you mean we’re racist?
I’ll leave the terminology and theoretical debate to the sociologists,
it’s not my field. What I have witnessed, however, is that an increasing
number of people in the Western world are voicing their resent towards
the new wave of Chinese immigrants. From my point of view, the conflict
is more deeply-rooted than it appears because China is adhering to the
rules of the free market to beat Western society at its own game. That’s
hard for us to accept. But it’s a subject that I think is still
in our sub-conscience because most of us are still unaware of our mistrust
towards the Chinese.
How did you choose the main actors?
I’ve worked with David Climent, Manu in the film, on various occasions.
He’s extremely talented and professional, not just as an actor,
but also as an author. His theatre company “loscorderos s.c.”
is rapidly gaining a reputation and promises great things. My previous
short film, “Te han preguntado por mi?” was based on one of
who plays Aparicio, is completely different. He’s paradoxical both
in the film and in real life. Although he has a degree in philosophy he
doesn’t like theorizing, instead he relies on his gut feelings and
intuition. Tatin’s roots are in theatre but he has a special relationship
with the camera; one look says it all.
Is it realistic to work as the scriptwriter, director, producer,
director of photography and editor, all at once?
worked hard, but I think that it’s possible to do all these things
on a small production. In fact, the only two jobs that overlap are the
directing and photography. If you have training and experience in a number
of fields you have greater control over what you’re making and less
chances of your idea being diluted in the process. What’s more,
when I’m writing the script, I’m visualising and editing it
in my mind at the same time.