I.M. Pei: Building China Modern

After 70 years in the U.S., renowned architect I.M. Pei returns to his ancestral home to build a modern museum in this ancient city.

American Masters
Premiere Date
March 31, 2010
60 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2010 CINE Golden Eagle Awards-CINE Golden Eagle Award
  • Producer

    Eugene Shirley

    Eugene Shirley is an award-winning producer/director/writer, and founder and president of PACEM Productions. He began working at the nexus of education and media when he was in college and founded a quarterly journal focusing on religion and ethics that he edited for five years (circ., 30,000). At Claremont Graduate School he pursued graduate work in Show more philosophy of religion and theology, which laid a solid foundation for his interest in documentary films that focus on big ideas — whether those ideas be in culture or finance, history or international affairs. Show less


    Anne Makepeace

    Anne Makepeace has been a writer, producer, and director of award-winning independent films for more than 20 years. After years of working in the narrative feature world, Makepeace made her first documentary, Baby, It’s You, in 1998. An intimate personal film that explores the world of fertility intervention through the lens of her own experiences, Baby It’s You Show more premiered at Sundance 1998, was the lead show on POV’s 1998 season, and was also screened as part of the Whitney Biennial 2000. Her films include We Still Live Here - Âs Nutayuneân, I.M. Pei: Building China Modern, Rain in a Dry Land for POV, Eleanor Roosevelt: Close to Home, and Coming to Light. Makepeace also wrote the screenplay for the successful Thousand Pieces of Gold, and the American Experience documentary Ishi, the Last Yahi. In addition to many festivals, her films have been screened at the Whitney Biennial, the Smithsonian, the Musée de l’Homme, the Museum of the American Indian, and many other museums, schools, colleges, and movie theaters around the country. Her work has been funded by the Pulitzer Foundation, the Sundance Documentary Fund, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, ITVS, the NEA, the NEH, the Ford Foundation, American Masters, Showtime Networks Inc., HBO, A&E, and the American Film Institute. Show less

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    The Film

    Known the world over for his controversial glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris, renowned architect I.M. Pei returns to his ancestral home of Suzhou, China, to design a new museum. I.M. Pei: Building China Modern looks at Pei's attempt to build modern architectural forms in the heart of this 2,500-year-old Chinese city.