On November 27th, 2020, Coffee Matters, a Chinese-English bilingual short animation film was jointly released by China Story Database and Fuxing Road Studio, and soon attracted extensive attention globally. It tells a story about how a coffee bean travels across the seas to China, and eventually helps the once impoverished hinterland of S.W China’s Yunnan province shake off poverty and achieve prosperity.
The 3.34-minute short film shows the cultural and economic interactions between China and the West brought by small coffee beans, and connects the overseas viewers to China’s poverty alleviation campaign. This film went viral after being released on major media and social networking platforms in China and has achieved 400 million views globally so far.
Hu Zhaoming, Spokesperson of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee retweeted it immediately saying “When coffee beans traveled to China, home of tea, and when the taste of daily life meets the needs of livelihoods, a story unfolds how coffee beans help people escape poverty. Fuxing Road Studio and the China Story Database have jointly released an animated short film, “Coffee Matters.” Just like tasting a cup of fresh-made, mellow coffee, we hope you enjoy this video.”
This short film innovates a way of expression by creatively using split screens and hand-drawing. Jean Carlo Cury Manfredini, the Agriculture Counsellor of the Brazilian Embassy in China said, “I really like the technique of expression at the film’s final part, which relates the economic and cultural interaction between China and the West to synergy of the Yin and Yang elements in traditional Chinese culture”. This constitute a striking visual contrast between the haziness of ink wash painting and the strong color of post-impressionism. The conception is in deep accord with the Chinese Taiji philosophy and the content as well reflects the possible harmonious coexistence of China and the West despite cultural differences.
The short video tells China's poverty alleviation story from the perspective of coffee, a drink which is popular in all countries around the world, and avoids the barriers hindering acception of Chinese culture by overseas audiences. After watching the short video, Jean Carlo Cury Manfredini, Agricultural Counsellor of Embassy of Brazil in China said, “I think the way it is presented is already easy for foreigners such as me to understand. Coffee is a globally well-accepted drink and drinking coffee is a daily habit for many foreigners.” Lusekelo Gwassa, Commercial Counsellor of Embassy of Tanzania in China said, “I think this is one of the things that most African countries, like Tanzania, can learn from and help our people who are growing coffee get rid of poverty. This topic inspires me much because coffee from Tanzania is also very nice.” Klutse Messan Amakoe, Economic and Cultural Counsellor of Togo Embassy in China was surprised by the video because he only knew China as the home of tea before; while after watching the video, he began to learn that China has good coffee and has created innovative poverty alleviation patterns.
Targeted poverty alleviation is an innovative policy put forward by the Communist Party of China to ensure the achievement of the anti-poverty efforts. In its anti-poverty endeavor, Yunnan has been promoting development of coffee industry in its hinterland where policies of poverty alleviation go deep among residents and local conditions are suitable for coffee growing, providing the world with Chinese experience.
The short film begins with coffee, the indispensable element in Westerners’ daily life, and proceeds with integrating China’s “coffee poverty-relief” story into the video at the same time. James Kimonyo, Ambassador of Rwanda to China said: "How successful China's industrialized anti-poverty model has been. The mellow coffee from Yunnan tells the story of China's targeted poverty alleviation, and we will share and exchange with China on their experience and best practices to apply them in our country.” “Chinese government has done a lot to help poverty stricken people, and I think most African countries, including Tanzania, can also help our people grow coffee beans to alleviate their poverty, " said Lusekelo Gwassa, Commercial Counsellor of Embassy of Tanzania in China.
Coffee Matters integrates an international perspective into a small and sweet story. Highlighting the essence of contemporary values and global significance in economic and cultural exchanges, the short video vividly tells how the CPC leads China in pooling the efforts of the whole society to create a Chinese anti-poverty miracle in the history of mankind.