Watch: “Fengming: A Chinese Memoir” by Wang Bing

A film by Wang Bing
184 minutes
Rent: $4.99 | Buy: $14.99

Winter in China. A town in the snow. Night is falling. Wrapped in her red coat, an elderly woman walks through a housing complex to her modest apartment. Inside, Fengming settles into her armchair and remembers. She begins to recount the gripping and almost unbelievably heartrending story of her troubled experiences as a once-ardent member of the socialist movement — a former journalist accused of harboring right-wing tendencies, separated from her family, and sent to a re-education camp where she endured hard labor, starvation, and humiliation. Often cited as one of the great documentary achievements, Fengming: A Chinese Memoir is a testament to the power of oral history and the strength of one extraordinary woman – and is available for the first time anywhere in the world.

“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.”
– Ed Halter, Artforum

“Remarkable. Wang Bing finds in a single room, and in He Fengming’s harrowed eyes, another uncanny metaphor for individual lives undone by the dreams of nations.”
– J. Hoberman, Village Voice

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