Walking Backwards Through Shanghai

I love Shanghai, but I’ve never seen it from this perspective — a backwards walking tour. This short film, “Walk in Shanghai” by JT Singh, will mesmerize you AND make you want to drop everything and head to Shanghai.

Here’s an excerpt from the introduction to the film on Vimeo:

With its futuristic skyline and sprawling network of streets, subway lines, and highways, Shanghai represents not just China’s unbridled dynamism, but also the rapidly maturing global economy. The bustling city of Shanghai, however, holds a further, complex and equally exhilarating narrative nestled at the feet of its towering skyscrapers. ‘Walk in Shanghai’ tells the story of the lively, multifaceted and above all else, very human experience unfolding at the street level of this massive city.

To guide you through the streetscape is JT Singh. As he leads the viewer on his curious adventure through central Shanghai, he glances around corners, weaves through crowds, and with a barely perceptible pause here or an impulsive turn there, stumbles into the unhinged entropy that flows through the hidden alleys, accidental views, and captivating scenes embedded in the city’s vibrant street life. The peculiar reversal of the city’s movement against his own distinguishes his story from that of the other 24 million people taking 24 million walks in Shanghai. It’s through a heightened focus on one man’s seemingly unstructured journey that we discover the ultimate protagonist of this story: the transcendent power of using your legs for discovering a city.

‘Walk in Shanghai’ is only an introductory tour of Shanghai’s urban streets. The remaining story of Shanghai’s suspense and beauty can only be experienced in person, and through using your legs as the main mode of transport.

But here’s the question that I can’t seem to shake: who’s really walking backwards? Singh or the crowds?

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