Dwarves Kingdom

Directed by Matthew Salton

Dwarves Kingdom is a documentary film about a theme park featuring performances by little people with dwarfism who live in a fantasy recreation of a magical empire. Built by a wealthy Chinese businessman, this other-worldly kingdom, officially called World Ecological Garden of Butterfly and Little People Kingdom, is located in the mountains surrounding the city of Kunming in Western China.


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  • ★★★½ review by matt lynch on Letterboxd

    locates a pretty rare node with its subjects' nuanced response to the idea that their livelihood depends on their exploitation. candid, uncomfortable, but never gawking, and there's a more universal suggestion that labor is, for a great many people, tied inextricably to identity.

  • ★★★★½ review by Valerie Coit on Letterboxd

    I'm haunted by many of the subjects of this documentary and the themes and questions the film generates stuck with me for days. I also enjoyed the somewhat unconventional edit and storytelling style. Beautifully shot and fascinating film.

    I can't wait to see it again.

  • ★★★★★ review by Mike Scholtz on Letterboxd

    I didn't mean to watch this entire movie again. But it's hypnotic. And complicated. And beautiful. And sad.

    So I watched it again.

  • ★★★★★ review by Mike Scholtz on Letterboxd

    Just incredible. And unconventional.

    He approached and edited this incredible film unconventionally, is what I'm trying to say.

  • ★★★★ review by Brad on Letterboxd

    Indulges in the bizarre nature of the theme park and makes sure to feature the acts put on by the little people, but it's always aware of the inherent exploitation at work. Surprisingly touching and somber at times as it digs in to the realities of living with dwarfism in modern China. Certainly one of the best documentaries I expect to see all year.

    One fascinating element of the film is the CEO of the Dwarf Kingdom park. He's using the film as a marketing opportunity, but his act is painfully clear. He's a man who seems to be genuine in his love for the little people, but his love is more fascination than actual, honest connection and empathy. He's profiting, he's an exploiter, and he's been forced to bury those feelings.

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