Kingdom Of The Little People

On Friday, I was sent a link by my close friend, Antony. Some of you will know that he used to work with me before I retired, and he is also an excellent photographer. He took the photo on my ‘About’ page, and many of the close-ups of Ollie that I have featured.

The You Tube film he sent me lasts only 17 minutes, and I urge you all to take time to watch this very affecting documentary.

The Kingdom Of The Little People is a theme park in mainland China. All the entertainers who perform there, and the staff who work there, are short people. Some have dwarfism, and others stunted developmental growth. Not one of them is any taller than four feet tall. They all live together at the Kingdom’, and perform shows for tourists to earn a living. They earn a good salary, about the same as an IT professional in the local region around Kunming.

The theme park opened in 2009, and is owned by a wealthy entrepreneur. The shows performed include dancing and singing, as well as scenes from traditional fairy tales, and Chinese folklore.

The whole concept of the park has been attacked and vilified by many western newspapers, as well as organisations like The Little People Of America, and Handicap International. It has been compared to a ‘human zoo’, and accused of exploiting little people, of and exposing them to ridicule. The British actor, Warwick Davis, who was born with a rare form of dwarfism, has called for the theme park to be closed down. He is well-know for his acting roles, including parts in ‘Willow’, ‘Star Wars’, and ‘Harry Potter’.

But if you watch the film, you may feel, as I did, that the opposite is true. In a country with no opportunity for such people, and where they are often publicly mocked in villages and big cities alike, this park has become a refuge, even an oasis for them. They live with people like themselves, and get well-paid to entertain the visitors. Their accommodation may seem basic and cramped by western standards, but they have most modern conveniences, form loving relationships, and enjoy sport and the usual recreational activities. Most of all, they have confidence, companionship, and a sense of self-worth that they lacked before going to work at ‘The Kingdom’.

I loved this film, and it really got to me. I watched it again before posting this, and didn’t change my mind.

35 thoughts on “Kingdom Of The Little People

  1. It’s a beautiful film, Pete. The best part – it is not just ‘about’ the little people. It gives them a chance to speak for themselves. Learnt a lot about not judging people too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you see it like that, V. I think they are lovely people, taking their opportunity to earn a good living among friends. Nothing wrong with that, whatever Warwick Davis thinks to the contrary!
      Cheers, Pete.:)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A very informative documentary, Pete! Thank you for this. I had heared about this location some years ago, but only in a very critical manner, you mentioned. A final verdict is difficult. But Anthony’s documentary shows that it really doesn’t seem inhumane.Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lauren. I had never heard of it until my friend Antony sent the link. But I read a lot about it after watching the film. I agree that they should be treated as the adults they are, and allowed to make their own decisions.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t see that anyone – whatever their drawback or disability – has a right to choose the solution for someone else’s problem, however similar it may seem to be. They don’t even have a right to belittle a solution that others have chosen. Everyone’s different – aren’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. thanks for sharing, Pete! good for these people! they make good living and are happy and i’m happy for them, too. sadly, some people are just cruel and have nothing better to do! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I applaud them! It should be them that decides what they do and how they live – not some actor somewhere or protester in the streets that doesn’t know their arse from a hole in the ground.
    Bravo, to these performers!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If they live there of free will and earn a good living, I say good for them! Our society is often too strait-laced when in all reality we do nothing to help those who are termed ‘different’ to lead productive lives.
    At least here, they can have pride in themselves and their accomplishments ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. On the one hand I can understand why this might be controversial. But after watching the video, I don’t see a problem with people choosing to be with others like themselves, gaining confidence, making good wages and being happy. It would different if they were coerced into being there but since it’s their choice who are we to judge?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I didn’t see much of an audience at the performances. But this is a very interesting film about a place I’d never heard of. I like allthingsthriller’s comment: “What would have happened to these people without the opportunity of making a living?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There was a poor audience that day, I agree.
      (She was only there for one day. A longer visit might have been more revealing) I wondered if that might have had anything to do with a foreign film crew being in attendance though?
      I think we can make an educated guess that their future would have been fairly bleak without the opportunity to work there.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Compelling film and subject matter. I’ve considered this when I’ve watched Browning’s “Freaks”. All of the sideshow actors were actual circus, sideshow performers, as everybody knows. What would have happened to these people without the opportunity of making a living? It’s easy for me to say that they should be denied the ability to make a living because their living is exploitative–to them. There’s a word that describes this in my opinion: Self righteousness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have ‘Freaks’ on DVD, Pam. It has caused plenty of controversy over the years, as you know.
      The people in this Chinese theme park struck me as being very happy. A lot happier than many tall people in high-powered career jobs, that’s for sure.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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