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Mrs. Fang

Wang Bing
China, France, Germany 2017 / 86’
Loveless Summer 1993

When does the process of dying begin? Is it when we become indifferent to what's happening in the world, when events seem to roll by alongside us, as if they were behind a glass wall? Or is it when, due to a disease like Alzheimer's, we completely lose our ability to communicate with those around us? Or is it perhaps later, when the body refuses to obey and our consciousness only selectively registers what's going on outside? Mrs. Fang is dying. Over several months, in a miserable little house in a Chinese town, surrounded by relatives and neighbors, she slips into the realm of death, her eyes gradually clouding over. In this drama, she is completely alone. The world around her doesn't slow down: the men smoke, talk about money and go fishing at night, while the women bustle about, play games on their mobile phones and glance at a television that's never turned off. They're physically close, crowded in one room, but there's a psychological abyss between them. It's this chasm that Wang Bing tries to cross with his camera, which, without commentary, follows the dying woman, showing us life stripped bare. And although death has been the subject of countless films, it has rarely been so persistently looked in the eye.

Against Gravity

awards

IFF Locarno 2017 - Golden Leopard

Wang Bing

Director and producer Wang Bing is the best-known member of the New Documentary Movement, which has been developing in China since the early 1990s, is an acute observer of the abrupt changes in Chinese society. Born in 1967 in Shaanxi, he graduated from the Beijing Film Academy in 1996 and founded Wang Bing Studios. In 2003, he debuted with the nine-hour epic Te Xi QuThe West of Tracks, which received many awards at Western film festivals. It tells about the de-industrialization of the "pride of the Chinese socialist economy” the Tiexi district. His film Fengming, a Chinese Memoir premiered in Cannes, and his Crude Oilpremiered in Rotterdam. New Horizons audiences enjoyed his The Ditch during the 2011 festival and 'Til Madness Do Us Part during the 2014 festival.

Selected filmography

2003 Tiexi qu / Tie Xi Qu: The West of Tracks (doc.)

2007 He Fengming / Fengming: A Chinese Memoir (doc.)

2008 Caiyou riji / Crude Oil (doc.)

2009 Wu ming zhe / Man with No Name (doc.)

2010 Rów / Jiabiangou / The Ditch

Cast & Crew

director Wang Bing
screenplay Wang Bing
cinematography Wang Bing, Bihan Ding, Xiaohui Shan
editing Dominique Auvray, Wang Bing
producer Pierre-Olivier Bardet, Kong Lihong
production Idéale Audience, Wil Productions LTD
Polish distributor Against Gravity
language Mandarin
colouration colour