“Who is Mrs. Fang? At the beginning of the Locarno Golden Leopard-winning documentary that bears her name, she is a Chinese woman in her sixties waiting in a hallway. (…) Then across a single, brutal cut, we’re with her some months later, and she now occupies one of the beds. Her advanced Alzheimer’s has shriveled the skin onto her bones, teeth exposed like those in a skull. Over the course of Chinese director Wang Bing’s atypically short but typically unflinching, challenging, provocative film, we will watch her die. This is filmmaking so unblinking, and so without sentiment that sometimes it requires an effort of will not to wince away from the screen, especially any time Wang returns to that closeup of her skeletal face. (…) In addition to being a portrait of death, Mrs. Fang is, like all of Wang’s films, concerned with economically challenged, marginalized Chinese life. This ramshackle and impoverished village in the country’s rural south is not a place of bucolic serenity, but scrappy make-do-and-mend. (…) Mrs. Fang becomes an abstraction within her own wasted body. The film was never the story of a life, and by its close, it’s not even the story of a death but Death itself: painful, pitiless and unbearably banal.” (Jessica Kiang, Variety)

Around The World in 14 Films 2017, presented by Frédéric Jaeger – in attendance of director Wang Bing


+++ Berlin Premiere +++

OT: Fang Xiu Ying
Country: Hong Kong, France, Germany 2017
Production: Ideale Audience, Wil Productions, All Ways Pictures, documenta 14
Format: DCP / colour
Length: 86 min.
Language: Mandarin OV / English subtitles
Festivals: documenta 14, Locarno, Toronto, Hamburg etc.
Awards: Locarno Golden Leopard