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CAOCHANGDI WORKSTATION DOCUMENTARY SERIES: MY MEMORIES AND ME
ABOUT THIS PROGRAM

This January, UCCA Art Cinema, in collaboration with Caochangdi Workstation and guest curator Wu Wenguang, presents My Memories and Me, a screening of three new independent documentary films. This follows the popular July 2010 UCCA Art Cinema series, Wu Wenguang’s Private Portraits, which featured screenings of three of Wu Wenguang’s films and a discussion with the director about the role of “private portraiture” in his pioneering cinematic work.

FILM SCHEDULE

1.7 FRI 19:00-21:00

The Starving Village

China.2010.Zou Xueping.78 min.Chinese and English subtitles

Q&A with director Zou Xueping and curator Wu Wenguang

1.8 SAT 16:00-18:30

Lonely Lotus

China.2010. Dai Jiaxin.109 min.Chinese and English subtitles

Q&A with director Dai Jiaxin and curator Wu Wenguang

1.9 SUN 16:00-18:30

Self-Portrait with Three Women

China.2010. Zhang Mengqi.70 min.Chinese and English subtitles

Q&A with director Zhang Mengqi and curator Wu Wenguang

SYNOPSES

The Starving Village

I was born and raised in the village. Since 2008, I have begun to document my own life, little by little walking back into my own village with my camera. This is my second documentary film, and it is fully composed of old people. One woman, nearing 80, is living out the last two years of her life. From when she is still using a cane to walk, to when she becomes paralyzed, she is always relying on others to live life. This is my grandmother. We also see other elderly people from the village, their daily activities, the tales of their starvation from 50 years ago. This film rests on these lives: a woman suffering and struggling as she faces oncoming death, and these people who narrate for us the history of rural starvation.

Lonely Lotus

Throughout my growing up in America, my Chinese grandmother scavenged through the bags of eager cast-offs that my mother set aside for donation. Over the years, she has rescued nearly every single article of clothing I have worn since I was born. Grandma’s vintage clothing collection is spread over eight rooms, three countries, two continents – and could fill a museum. One might call it her passion, but Grandma calls it her job.

These days, Grandma’s vintage collection is getting out of control. Her eyesight is failing.  Her food tastes funny. She can’t find anything anymore, but she can’t bear to give any of it away. In her apartment in Sunny View old people’s home—a place she can call her own—there’s nowhere to sit, nowhere to stand, nowhere to sleep. It’s getting easier to throw things away while she’s not looking. But Grandma is the one who taught me to see the beauty in things.

Self-Portrait with Three Women

This year I turned 23, the age when women become pregnant with dreams. Yet, even while nursing our own dreams, we must carry the burdens of two other womens’ dreams as well. This film began with my own search, then delving into my mother and her mother, where blood has flowed through three generations, in these women who grew up in such different times. As a victim of an oppressive marriage, my grandmother held hopes for my mother to enter a beautiful, perfect marriage. When my mother became a victim herself, she turned those hopes to me. Marriage may be every girl’s dream, but it is also the murderer of those dreams.

DIRECTOR BIO

Zou Xueping, born in Shandong Province, 1985, graduated at the New Media Department of The China Academy of Art. Mom (2008) is her first feature length documentary and The Starving Village is her second feature length documentary.

Leslie Tai, born in Oklahoma, 1983, raised in San Francisco, graduated from the Design|Media Arts Department at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2006, and followed the Advanced Documentary Workshop at UCLA’s film school. Under the support of the Fulbright Scholarship (China, 2007-08) and Caochangdi Workstation (Beijing), she completed her first feature length documentary, Sister Heaven Sister Earth (2009), and continues a collaborative film project with her film’s protagonist, Guo Lifen. Lonely Lotus is her second feature length documentary. Leslie currently resides in Beijing.

Zhang Mengqi, born in 1987, graduated from the Dance Academy of China Minorities University in 2008. Now she lives as a freelance dancer / choreographer and documentary filmmaker in Beijing. She created dance works Self-portrait and Dialogue with My Mother (2009), Self-portrait and Sexual Self-education (2010). Self-Portrait with Three Women is her first feature length documentary.

CURATOR

Curated By :

Wu Wenguang

PARTNER

Partner :

Caochangdi Workstation

Screenings
  • 2011.1.7 – 2011.1.9
  • UCCA Art Cinema
  • Chinese and English subtitles