Wang Bing / 2007 / 184 minutes / China

Often cited as one of the great documentary achievements, Wang Bing’s dazzling tour-de-force — a gripping monologue recounting five decades in the life of a once-ardent socialist in the new China — is a testament to the power of oral history and the strength of one extraordinary woman. Never before available.

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Fengming appears on the following 10/10 lists: Pedro Costa, Mauro Herce

  • "Gripping. A sweeping saga. Fengming stands alongside first-person precedents like Shirley Clarke’s Portrait of Jason and Errol Morris’s The Fog of War in its ability to wrest powerful effects from the deceptively simple setup of a lone raconteur."

  • "A heartbreaking, scathing documentary... The film has a moral authority similar to that of Shoah, to which it ingeniously alludes."

    The New Yorker
  • "In his masterful, West of the Tracks, Wang Bing used a rural freight railway as a conduit into China's uneasy transition from a planned to a market economy. In this equally remarkable follow-up, he finds in a single room, and in He Fengming's harrowed eyes, another uncanny metaphor for individual lives undone by the dreams of nations."

    Village Voice

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