假装没感觉 | Shanghai Women

Shanghai Women

After Women’s Story, Peng returns to the most straightforward representation of women’s issues in Shanghai Women, a film about three rural women. As the first work in Peng’s Shanghai Trilogy, Shanghai Women describes the problem that women encounter trying to secure urban (residential) space through the story of women from three generations: a grandmother, mother and a daughter, Ah-xia. Fed up with her philandering husband, the mother decides to divorce and moves with Ah-xia to grandmother’s. The grandmother lives with her son, with his wedding on the horizon. Grandmother’s becomes too cramped for comfort because of the larger family. To secure their place, mother accepts a reluctant marriage arranged by the grandmother, with Li, who lives with his son. Li is nitpicking, stingy, and even violent and finally the mother and Ah-xia leave the place together. The mother considers a remarriage with her ex-husband but Ah-xia encourages her mother to make their own future together and find their own place. The film reveals the realities of an urban divorced woman and her insecure life if she leaves her husband’s house in a scene where mother and daughter ceaselessly wander about creek-side areas in Shanghai.

Directed by Xiaolian Peng | Starring : Liping Lü, Haiying Sun, Zhenyao Zheng, Wenqian Zhou, Jing-ming Shi | Presented at Cairo Film Festival, Nantes Film Festival

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漂亮妈妈 | Breaking the Silence

Breaking the Silence

Internationally-renowned actress Gong Li gives a wondrous performance in Breaking the Silence, an emotional drama from director Sun Zhou. Gong Li plays Sun Liying, a stubborn, independent woman struggling with her assigned lot in life. A single mother, she works to raise and educate her deaf son Zheng Da (Gao Xin) without support from her uncaring ex-husband (Guan Yue). Despite living beneath the indifferent shadow of modern Chinese society, Sun Liying gives her all to provide for her child, and her effort proves stirring and dramatic. Sun Zhou gives Breaking the Silence a semi-documentary feel, and humanizes his Chinese lower class subjects without canonizing them. Sun Liying is portrayed as simply a caring, loving mother who wishes the best for her child, and cares little for the politics or social issues of larger China. A refreshingly human film, Breaking the Silence is another milestone performance from Gong Li, whose powerful work earned accolades at film festivals worldwide.

Directed by Zhou Sun | Starring : Li Gong, Xin Gao, Liping Lü, Jing-ming Shi, Yue Guan | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Montreal Film Festival, Hawaii Film Festival