Special video introduction from Dongnan Chen!

The Miao people are a historically marginalized ethnic group living in the mountainous Southwest Chinese province of Yunnan. Many in the community have held deep-seated Christian beliefs for nearly a century, following the influence of western missionaries. In her poignant and thought-provoking documentary, Dongnan Chen follows the rise to national prominence of a Christian choir from the Miao community. Taking the viewer from their home in Little Well Village, where they become tourist attractions, to their performances in Beijing and even a well-attended concert at New York’s Lincoln Center, the director shows how the choir was co-opted for government party propaganda, while also following certain choristers’ lives through personal trials and arranged marriages. Singing in the Wilderness is a contemplative work of nonfiction that raises crucial questions of faith, globalization, and identity.