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Docudrama <i>Stand Up</i> at Anthology Film Archives

As part of the NewFilmmakers Winter Festival, Anthology Film Archives will screen Stand Up (Zhan Qi Lai), a docudrama about modern China directed by Clara Xing, on Jan. 3, 2010.

From the program description:

Stand Up is based on the true story of Song Xuewen, who plays himself in the film. Song, a young industrial worker, becomes the inadvertent victim of a radioactive accident at his company in Jilin, a large industrial province in northern China. He undergoes seven major operations in which both legs are amputated at the hip, and his left hand is amputated at the wrist. He also loses functionality of all five fingers of his right hand. A subsequent addiction to pain-killing morphine forces him to undergo drug rehabilitation three times. The local company Song worked for refuses to give him proper compensation for his crippling losses or to even pay for prosthetic limbs with which he might some day achieve his dream of standing up. Experiencing the lowest point of his life, he meets a beautiful, caring young school teacher, named Yang Gang. Song and Yang decide to go to the company’s headquarters in Beijing to seek justice and compensation. Life in the big city is hard for the young couple, but through it they find love and happiness, and what it means to stand up.

Clara Xing is a former Shanghai ballerina who immigrated to New York in 1998. Stand Up is her debut feature film. After learning about Song Xuewen’s story, she traveled to China to meet him and lived with him and his then girlfriend, Yang Gang, for two weeks before writing the script. She said in the Director’s Statement, “Smiling at life’s sufferings is the theme of the movie.” The film has been shown at the Atlanta Film Festival and the Rhode Island International Film Festival in 2009. It also appeared the past November at the Walter Reade Theater in a private screening sponsored by the China Institute in America.

Time: Sunday, January 3rd at 8:30 PM

Location: Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue at 2nd Street


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