Woman Being

A film by Wen-Jie Qin

1997 | 20 minutes | Color | DVD | Subtitled | Order No. 99589

SYNOPSIS

In a critical examination of changing concepts of beauty and sexuality in modern China, WOMAN BEING illustrates how a flood of Western pop culture is adversely affecting women's expectations and self-worth. Revisiting her hometown Chengdu after a long absence,filmmaker Wen-Jie Qin traces the impact of a newly booming beauty industry in a country where thirty years ago women were beat up for wearing makeup. Combining interviews and footage from glamour photo studios and television, WOMAN BEING explores the rise of a new super-feminine, highly sexualized ideal. "This hard-nosed look at women in contemporary China makes a persuasive case for how the economies of pleasure, beauty, and consumption are transacted through exploiting women's bodies and images. It provides a sobering prognosis of what 'freedom' might mean for women in China today." - Marina Heung, Baruch College, CUNY

PRESS

"Insightful and distinctive...shows how young women's passion in grasping Western concepts of beauty reflects China's economic transformation..."

Vivian Huang Asian Cinevision

"This candid film takes you into the heart of Chinese women's lives."

Richard Rogers Harvard Film Study Ctr

ABOUT FILMMAKER(S)

Wen-Jie Qin

Director and cinematographer Wen-jie Qin was born in China under Mao, graduated from Beijing University in 1989 with a B.A. in Philosophy, and obtained a Ph.D. in Religion and Film from Harvard University in 2000.
Qin has produced a number of award-winning documentaries on religion, gender, children and the economic reform in post-Mao China. Being on the one hand Chinese but having been a long term resident and scholar in the USA put her in a unique position when she returned to China in mid 1990's. She saw changes happening on many levels in the society and has chosen to document her perceptions in film. She manages to combine the intimacy that only a native Chinese person could have with the sense of discovery and exploration of a visitor and scholar from the West.

While a fellow at Harvard Film Studies Center, Qin completed a documentary about the journey of an ancient totem pole from the Peabody Museum at Harvard to its Tlingit home in Southeast Alaska under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

In recent years, Qin has been making documentaries in the Netherlands for the Buddhist Broadcasting Foundation and VPRO Television. Her latest films on the Chinese Buddhist community and new immigrants in the Netherlands have all been aired on Dutch national channels. (8/14)

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