Women’s Voice Re-presents the Thousand Faces of Women
The Women’s Voice section in Beijing Film Panorama is like a polyhedron, showing and reflecting different aspects of contemporary women's lives, documenting their thoughts on emotion and life. It is also a channel through which we can see their figures, hear their words and experience their writing.
The Women’s Voice section includes two Chinese language documentaries.
In Pursuit of Light, created by Ms. Lisa Lu, the first Chinese lifetime judge of the Academy Awards, who is still active on the stage at the age of 95. The film presents Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American actress who left a star, for the first time, on the Avenue of Fame in Hollywood; Minwei Li who believes in "saving the country by film"; Chusheng Cai, the founder of Chinese realistic films, and Bruce Lee who conquers the world with "Kung Fu". The stories of the previous generation of filmmakers are flowing... Interviews, live shooting scene restoration, animation and a large number of historical image files are interwoven to reconstruct the golden age of Chinese film from different perspectives.
Bamboo Dragonfly focuses on a group of girls majoring in dance who are about to graduate and rehearse night and day. Shifting between black and white and multi-colors, interviews and stylized dance sequences, the film presents a group portray through emotional shots: their sweat, their off-stage pain, their relationship with parents and families, their dreams, their strength to persist.
Women's voices have never been absent in the history of film, but even today, women in this industry are still hard to see. The film Hommage reveals the struggles faced by female directors in South Korea. Director Su-won Shin vertically extends the core of her "meta-movie" in Rainbow to Hommage, which tells the story of an unemployed female filmmaker who is given a job to restore the works of earlier female directors. As she continues to visit, she is finally coming to her own heart.
Jung-eun Lee, who brought a breakthrough in image in Parasite and Our Blues, presents a moving and delicate performance in Hommage. The film is a rather quiet work. The dialogue carried out when wiping the film, the dilapidated theater, and the overlap of time and space of shadows are all moving moments.
The Indonesian film Before, Now & Then, which is similar to Hommage, also uses the ghost of the past time to combine the national history of Indonesia in the 1960s with the situation of women through a cluster of women's perspectives and dream-talking expressions.
Before, Now & Then is called a replica of Wong Kar-wai's In the Mood for Love, presenting a unique tropical aesthetic and vision. In the deep and subtle scenes and atmosphere, everything seems to be covered with a melancholy and nostalgic veil, and a kind of depression floats on it. The film is nominated for the Best Film at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival Golden Bear Award and won the Silver Bear Award for best supporting role.
The French film The Five Demons, which presents the ripples of life in the past, also places the feelings between two women as the core of the play. However, the difference is that this film, which is somewhat suspense and uncanny in narrative, is advanced forward by the little daughter's supernatural sense of smell. She is a witness between the past and the present, and between intimacy and rift. The ending moment is even more amazing.
The film title The Five Devils refers to the place where the story takes place, and may also point to some kind of connection between mother and daughter. Therefore, the film is mixed with Western mysticism. Director Léa Mysius is famous as the screenwriter of Les Olympiades and Roubaix, a Light, and is a frequent visitor of the Festival de Cannes.
Adèle and Emma in La Vie d'Adèle bring, respectively, The Five Devils and One Fine Morning. They are also old enough to play the role of mother in the film. These two films will bring a completely different experience to the audiences.
Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve, One Fine Morning won the European Film Award for the Director's Biweekly Unit at the 75th Festival de Cannes. The film follows the style in L'avenir and the description of female emotions. Léa Seydoux, with a little sadness on her face from time to time, has presented one of her most charming characters. The chemistry between her and Melvil Poupaud was fascinating.
It is very interesting that Pascal Gregory, who plays the role of father in the film, is an actor who wins the confidence from Éric Rohmer and consistently got a role to play in his film. He appeared at the BJIFF in 2019 (Three Adventures of Brooke and Pauline at the Beach); in 2020, the Beijing Screening also organized "The Films of Éric Rohmer" and screened six movies for audiences. One Fine Morning provides a Rohmer-styled film atmosphere, which is fresh, flowing and gentle. It tells the story, in a leisurely way, in the tendency of prose culture, mixed with thinking about life philosophy, and has a calm romance.
Women’s voice deserves and should be heard.