Films byTexts by Fengming: A Chinese Memoir
Conversation EN
Julien Gester 2012
Translated by

In He Fengming [Fengming: A Chinese Memoir] (2007) Wang Bing recorded in barely one take He Fengming’s startling testimony of the persecutions that she and her family endured throughout the Anti-Rightist Movement and the Cultural Revolution in China. “I wanted to assure her the most ample freedom of speaking. The core of the film has been shot during one afternoon. Fengming was 76 years old, she’s a woman who entirely lives in the past, in her memory. In fact, it seemed correct to make an immobile film, a ‘talking heads’ film and I did not want to stage anything else. It’s about understanding her for who she is: a spectral woman locked up in the past, wandering about in an apartment that has been reduced to a tomb.”

Article NL

In het midden van de film gebeurt er iets geniaals, waardoor we uit Fengmings verhaal naar het heden worden gesleurd. Op een bepaald moment onderbreekt Wang haar om te vragen of het licht eventueel aan zou mogen. Het gesprek begon in de vooravond en zonder dat we het als kijker echt beseffen, is Fengming ondertussen volledig in het duister gehuld. Haar ‘heden’ is verdwenen.

Fengming: A Chinese Memoir
Wang Bing, 2007, 186’

“The American poet Muriel Rukeyser asked, ‘What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?’; her answer: ‘The world would split open.’ The tragic extremes of Fengming’s biography seem to demand such a cosmic response, or at least some physical manifestation or visual correlative ons