When China Met Africa

The expanding footprint of a rising global power is laid bare

Directed by Marc and Nick Francis

A historic gathering of over 50 African heads of state in Beijing reverberates in Zambia where the lives of three characters unfold. Mr Liu is one of thousands of Chinese entrepreneurs who have settled across the continent in search of new opportunities. He has just bought his fourth farm and business is booming.

In northern Zambia, Mr Li, a project manager for a multinational Chinese company is upgrading Zambia’s longest road. Pressure to complete the road on time intensifies when funds from the Zambian government start running out.

Meanwhile Zambia’s Trade Minister is on route to China to secure millions of dollars of investment.

Through the intimate portrayal of these characters, the expanding footprint of a rising global power is laid bare – pointing to a radically different future, not just for Africa, but also for the world.


“This documentary explores the burgeoning economic relationship between China and Zambia. It’s shot with an acute eye for the discomfort of discordant cultures co-existing. What’s interesting here is that you feel this story is only just beginning” The Times

“An eye-opening documentary that puts into concrete images that truism of the geo-political commentariat: that China is a new economic superpower”  The Guardian

“Cutting between the political and working classes in Zambia, where Chinese companies have been given government contracts and encouraged to invest, this fascinating British made, fly-on-the-wall documentary investigates the impact of international trade agreements on ordinary people and oftentimes awkward clash of cultures in a globalised economy”  The Independent

“A Movie that will become increasingly important the more the world tilts in China’s favour” ****  Empire

“A fascinating doc which raises big questions about the global balance of power” **** Total Film

“Never telling you what to think, it’s a balanced but troubling illustration of our shifting world order” The Daily Telegraph

“Their stories unfold compellingly and intimately”  The Epoch Times

“A dark, quiet, damning documentary looking at China’s determined expansion into Africa (here Zambia) through the lives of a Chinese farmer, a road builder, and the Zambian trade minister. When in 1999 China announced it’s ‘go global’ policy it had Africa very much in mind, and specifically the raw materials that go into the construction of our electrical equipment. A creeping, alarming account of exploitation as well as a study into the psychology of colonialism” Financial Times

“A welcome corrective to western biased reporting of world events”  The Metro

“As the West’s influence falls into shadow of an Eastern dawn, the Francis brothers offer us a unique insight into a hidden corner of the present and an insightful glimpse of an emerging world order”  The Skinny


Winner, Best Filmmaker Award, Margaret Mead Film Festival
Official Selection, Sheffield Doc Fest International Film Festival
Official Selection, Munich International Film Festival
Official Selection, IDFA International Film Festival
Official Selection, Full Frame International Film Festival