Journey to the West: Chinese Medicine Today

May 9 2002

Directed by: Katy Chevigny
Produced by: Katy Chevigny and Julia Pimsleur
Co-Produced by: Dallas Brennan
Camera by: Kirsten Johnson
Music by: Jason Kao Hwang
Edited by: Li-Shin Yu

Journey to the West examines the roots of traditional Chinese medicine, its incarnation in modern-day China, and its adaptation in the United States. Rare footage of traditional medical practices in the People’s Republic of China is intercut with interviews of some of the leading Chinese medical practitioners here in the United States.

Conceived and shot over a period of three years, Journey to the West is an insightful investigation of the connection between art, culture and medicine. The film introduces a few of the diverse people who are devoted to this medical practice, including Dr. Ho, a self-taught herbalist living in the foothills of the Himalayas; Wu Zhongxian, a martial arts master who performs a wide range of indigenous Chinese healing methods; and students attending a modern-day Chinese medical school in Shanghai. Back in the U.S., teachers, students and practitioners of Chinese medicine working in California and New York showcase their work in contemporary Chinese medicine. Journey to the West offers a unique perspective on a growing cross-cultural phenomenon.