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Free screening: Skylight Kunming

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On August 26 of last year, a rafting accident on the Nanpan River in southern Yunnan took the lives of three Kunming residents. One of them was Michael Sutherland, an American who had been living in Kunming since 1994.

An avid cyclist who helped organize mountain bike races in Yunnan, Sutherland was affectionately known throughout the city as "Bike Mike", or "Lao Danche" (老单车, 'old bike') in Chinese. During his 14 years in Kunming, Sutherland was one of the city's most recognizable international residents.

In addition to organizing cycling events and parties, Sutherland also founded hemp clothing company Peopleshemp and served as a director at the Hemp Industries Association. His devotion to cycling and hemp underscored his dedication to raising environmental consciousness in Kunming and beyond.

Shortly after Mike's passing, Sutherland's brothers Abraham, Benjamin, Paul and Sam visited Kunming to find out more about his life in the city. Benjamin Sutherland, a documentary filmmaker and journalist, decided to commemorate Mike's time in Kunming with a documentary about his life here.

Benjamin Sutherland used video interviews with Mike's friends plus video he shot on a previous visit to Kunming and some of Mike's own video footage riding his bicycle around Kunming to produce the documentary film Skylight Kunming, which will have its first public showing in Kunming tonight at Speakeasy Bar.

The screening of Skylight Kunming will take place at 6:30 - admission is free. GoKunming has viewed the documentary and recommends it to anyone who knew "Bike Mike" Sutherland or anyone who is simply interested in the changes that have taken place in Kunming over the last several years.

Related article: Obituary: Michael Sutherland, 1966-2007

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