Spring Dreams: The Cinema of Huang Ji & Yang Lina
Huang Ji in person
The mainstream Mainland film industry remains largely a boy’s club, but a few independent women directors work defiantly outside of the rigged system. Enter Huang Ji and Yang Lina, two stubbornly self-sufficient artists doing things their own way. Huang, drawing from her own life experience, has become the foremost cinematic chronicler of the daughters of the “left-behind” generation, negotiating a hostile environment that extends few protections to women. Yang, a dancer-turned-documentarian who had a small role in Jia Zhangke’s Platform (2000), broke through with the independent nonfiction classic Old Men (1999), and more recently has turned to fiction with the sensual ghost story Longing for the Rain (2013). “It’s difficult work because the authorities do not intend to give you the good soil to grow,” says Yang of her outsider’s practice, but the work of these remarkable filmmakers is proof that their sheer determination has brought forth an extraordinary harvest.
Part of the Creative China Festival 2018
Supported by the Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation