Launch ceremony of documentary 'Beijing Central Axis' held in Beijing
Updated 14:54, 31-Mar-2023

A ceremony for the launch of the documentary series "Beijing Central Axis" was held in Beijing on Wednesday.

The show dives deep into the stories behind the central backbone of the old city of Beijing, which also informed the expansion of the Chinese capital.

Experts in the protection of cultural heritage, media professionals and other guests from China and abroad share their insights on the historical changes of the Central Axis of Beijing, which is connected by many cultural relics in the old city and is now in the "sprint stage" of applying for World Heritage status.

Starting with the creation and development of the Central Axis, the documentary unveils the foundations of the planning for the line over the past centuries. It also presents the lives of ordinary people living along the axis, providing the audience with a window into Chinese people's pursuit of a better future.

The documentary features three episodes. Episode 1 – "Eternity" – tells the origins of the axis based on the Chinese philosophy of heaven and earth. Episode 2 – "Moments" – presents the diversified lives along the axis through memories of the past and changes taking place today. Episode 3 – "Integration”– showcases how the axis has become a bridge that links China with the rest of the world and how it embraces people of different cultural backgrounds from all over the world.


"(Beijing Centra Axis) has a profound history. We hope it can come alive and have more people understand and recognize it," Shen Pengfei, executive director of Beijing Central Axis Documentary Series, told CGTN.

"We're looking for commonalities between different groups of people. I think humans share the same emotional value. We are constantly looking for this common value, such as family affection and love," he added.

He noted that the central axis is a kind of urban planning and cities in other countries also have such things.

"For example, the urban design of Paris or other cities in Western countries may be radial. This may be related to their cultural background. Similarly, the idea contained in the central axis of Chinese cities is actually their understanding of heaven and earth. It is a way for Chinese people to understand the world and nature."

He said he believes that audiences all over the world share common emotions and can find love stories, interesting lives, gourmet food and wonderful Chinese culture in this series of documentaries.


Santiago Barrio, a Spanish photographer and one of the leading characters in the documentary, told CGTN that the documentary made him think about the deep meaning of the axis, not just as a city that is quite important.

"(It) reminds me so much of the Taoist and Buddhist philosophies. They always invite us to follow the middle way, that kind doesn't be in one extreme or the other extreme. Try to be in the middle line."

"I think the best thing I can tell them (audiences) is to keep your mind open and forget what you know or don't know. Watch the documentary and enjoy it," he concluded.

The documentary is presented by the Information Office of Beijing Municipality and produced by Beijing Radio and Television Station (BRTV) Documentary Science and Educational Channel and NeoMedia (Beijing) Investment Co., Ltd.

The documentary will be broadcast on BRTV from Thursday at 9:50 p.m. Beijing Time and will be gradually aired on other channels at home and abroad, including CGTN.

(Cover: A picture from the ceremony where the documentary "Beijing Central Axis" was launched in Beijing, March 29, 2023. /Beijing Radio and Television Station)

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