Sister Cities Association of Sarasota

Citizen Diplomats—Carving a Path toward Peace since 1963

Chinese Feature Films

Sister Cities Referenced in This Piece of Content: 

Fall 2012
Ringling College of Art and Design
Academic Center Room 207
Admission is free.
All films have Mandarin sound-tracks and English subtitles.
October 13: 1:30 pm
A Soul Haunted by Painting画魂aka La Peinture
Director Huang Shuqin黃蜀芹 (女), 1994. 91 min
Stars Gong Li
A luscious biopic of China’s most well-known 20th-century woman artist, Pan Yuliang 潘玉良(1899–1977). Sold into a brothel as a child, she escapes to become the second wife of a gentle and loving customs official who supports her compulsion to draw and paint. Pan becomes a student at the Shanghai Art Academy founded by Liu Haisu, recently returned from studying in Europe; whose school is frequently shut down by the police for using nude models. With Liu’s sponsorship, Pan eventually studies in Paris herself, wins a scholarship and several international prizes. She returns to China in 1929 to accept a university appointment, but encounters ugly obstacles to her acceptance: her early association with a brothel, male chauvinist attitudes toward women artists and academics, prejudice
against Western-influenced art, particularly female nudes, which formed an important segment of her work. In 1937, she returns to Paris to live as an ex-patriot until her death in 1977. During much of this time Pan’s art was classified as ‘depraved’, but after Opening 开放in the 1980s her work was finally recognized and exhibited in China and Taiwan.
November 10: 1:30 pm
Up the Yangzi (documentary)
Director Chang Yung张侨勇, Canada, 2007. 93 min
After taking a “farewell cruise” (to see the river before the final flooding) with his family from Chongqing (Sichuan) through the Three Gorges Dam, this young director was inspired to explore the impact of the dam on the lives of the Chinese who live and work along the Yangzi. Yu Shui (“Cindy”) is the oldest of three children from a family living on the river bank in extreme poverty. The cruise company hires her even though she can’t speak English and is shorter than the required height. Chen Boyu (“Jerry”), from a middle-class background, is spoiled and cocky like many single sons – but projects the image the cruise company wants: service personnel who are tall, good looking, and able to speak good English. The film documents the training and early experiences of these two young people,
and follows them over two years as they move away from rural family traditions into an internationalizing and commoditizing world. Slow-paced and meditative, the film lets the characters and situations speak for themselves. The haunting sound-track combines pipa琵琶and guzhang故障with western string instruments.
December 1: 1:30
Troubled Laughter苦恼人的笑
Director Yang Yanjin杨延晋and Deng Yimin邓一民, 1979. 92 min.
Made only three years after Mao’s death and the end of the Cultural Revolution, this moving film is representative of a genre known as “scar literature” or “literature of the wounded” (伤痕文学 shanghen wenxue), which is characterized by expressions of the sufferings of oppressed and persecuted cadres and intellectuals under the rule of the Gang of Four. Set in the winter of 1975, Troubled Laughter depicts the lives and fates of Chinese intellectuals in the last years of the Cultural Revolution through the characters of a newspaper journalist pressured to lie in print, his old mentor to whom he goes for advice, his wife who accuses him of sacrificing her and their daughter so he can be a hero, and his Chief Editor, who betrays him. The film contains several sequences in which the cinematography
is manipulated to express psychological states of mind – an unusual and innovative technique for the time and place in which the movie was made.
Series is designed and hosted by Dr. Carolyn Bloomer to supplement her Cross-Cultural Perspectives course Modern China, and is co-sponsored by the Gulfcoast Chinese American Association and the Sarasota Chapter of the U.S.-China People’s Friendship Association.
For more information contact:
Location: Films will be screened on the campus of Ringling College of Art and Design in room AC 207 in the new Academic Building on the west side of Old Bradenton Road south of Martin Luther King Boulevard in area #34 on the campus mapavailable on line at

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