Fengming: A Chinese Memoir (He Fengming)
He Fengming / Documentary / Mandarin
An elderly woman walks along a snowy street to her apartment. She makes herself comfortable in her armchair and speaks to the camera. Her name is He Fengming. As night slowly falls, she tells her life story, which spans the history of the Cultural Revolution. Once idealistic young journalists, Fengming and her husband were denounced as counterrevolutionaries, separated, and thrust into labour camps. A moving testament to human endurance, an extraordinary piece of oral history and a landmark in recent documentary cinema. The filmmaker will be in attendance and will also discuss his work in depth in a masterclass.
#1 / Saturday 23 June, 2012 / 21:03 GMTDidn't enjoy this one as much as I thought I would. It is certainly an honest and uncompromising way of treating the subject matter (consisting as it does of more or less one long uncut monologue to camera, toilet breaks included) but at over three hours it is overlong and this I think lessens the impact of the story. He Fengming has undoubtedly had an incredible life, her story is well worth telling and she speaks eloquently, but she has a tendency to repeat herself and in my view a bit of judicious editing would have tightened the whole thing up and made for a more rewarding viewing experience. I agree that it is an extraordinary piece of oral history but that is not the same thing as a good film.
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