Outline: Bian Zhongyun is believed to have been the first of the teachers murdered by their own students during the “Red August” of 1966 as the Cultural Revolution began in mainland China. The film depicts the event and shows how Bian’s relatives, students and colleagues experienced the terror. “After her death, Wang Jingyao took photos of his beloved wife with his own camera. The images of those tragic days have been preserved to this day. To those who lived through the devastation, this represents a unique example of memory. These photos serve as both witness and testimony. I thus ponder the power of a camera, the struggle to cover things up and the victory of one man’s memory.” (Hu Jie)
Hu Jie (born 1958) is a Chinese filmmaker and artist known for the films Searching for Lin Zhao’s Soul (2004), Though I Am Gone (2007), and Spark (2013), which constitute a “trilogy of documentaries about Maoist China”. Spark received the top prize at the 2014 Taiwan Independent Documentary Festival.
Hu was born in Jinan, Shandong Province, and later attended the People’s Liberation Army Arts College before serving in the People’s Liberation Army for fifteen years. He then found work with the Xinhua News Agency prior to his debut as a director. He currently resides in Nanjing.
In addition to his work in film, Hu is an accomplished artist of woodblock prints, recently producing a series of pieces depicting scenes from the Great Famine which was intended to be exhibited in Tianjin in 2014 before being deemed too controversial, leading to the showcase’s cancellation.