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On the Edge of Documentary in China: The Films of Yang Rui at NYU

The Bimo Records (dir. Yang Rui)

Event Date and Time:

December 17, 2010 1:30pm – 7:30pm


Department of Cinema Studies, Michelson Theater 721 Broadway, Room 648 New York, NY 10003

On the Edge of Documentary in China: The Films of Yang Rui

1:30pm – 3:00pm Bimo Records Bimoji (2006, 91 min, English subtitles) In the Daliang Mountains of Sichuan live the tribal Yi people. Their priests, or bimo, communicate with the spirit world on behalf of the community. Yang follows the lives of three bimo: The Spell Casting Bimo, from a clan famous for their curses and whose black magic is now forbidden by the government; The Soul Calling Bimo who cures the sick and calls to souls for help and good fortune; and thirdly, The Village Cadre Bimo, empowered by the government with religious and political status as a cadre. Winner, Best Documentary Award in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan Student Film Festival (2008), nominated for Basil Wright Film Prize in Britain Royal Anthropology Film Festival (2007), shown at Locarno, and the Margaret Mead Film Festival (2006)

3:00pm – 3:30pm Break

3:30pm – 5:15pm Crossing the Mountain Fanshan (2009, 98 min, English subtitles) Violence lurks in the forest – headhunters, bombs, riflemen — but so do games, puzzles, dances and love. “Crossing the Mountain” emerges in fragments whose young protagonists live with the ghosts of past wars. Yang spent much time over a three-year period with the Wa people on the Chinese border with Burma, collecting their stories to produce this highly unusual, experimental ethnographically inspired fiction, producing a mysterious film, full of beautiful landscapes, dreamlike silent connections, and eerily gorgeous light. Documentary, story, mythmaking and ethnography, the film is as tough in its anti-exoticizing savvy as it is captivating in its embrace of an intangible spirituality. Shown at Hong Kong Film Festival (2009); The 40th Berlinale (2010); Vancouver International Film Festival (2010)

5:30pm – 6:30pm Q&A with the Filmmaker, Yang Rui

6:30pm – 7:30pm Reception

About the Director Yang Rui

Yang Rui was born in 1975 in Liaoning Province in northeastern China and graduated from the Journalism Department of Liaoning University in 1995. She then became a documentary director in Liaoning TV and CCTV. Yang graduated from the Beijing Film Academy in 2005 with a BFA while working as Tian Zhuangzhuang’s assistant director for the productions Delamu and Go Master. She lives in Beijing.

Presented by The Department of Cinema Studies and The Center for Religion and Media

Sponsored by The Center for Media, Culture and History, China House, NYU, & with the support of the Asian Cultural Council, and the NYU Humanities Initiative

This event is free and open to the public


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