Prisoners in Freedom City + Condolences

24/1 (Thur) 7:30pm,agnès b. CINEMA
*Followed by Seminar

Prisoners in Freedom City

China / 2007 / Color / 31min
In Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles
Director : Hu Jia  Zeng Jinyan

The film was filmed from August 2006 to March 2007, documenting the life of Hu Jia, the activist in mainland AIDS movement who had been put under house arrest for 214 days by the National Security Force of China. With no doubt, Hu Jia is a man with great heart as he showed his compassion for others even when he was prisoned. To kill time, Hu decided to film some footage. During the filming, the relationship between the guarder and guarded seemed change. Hu’s film allows us to have a glimpse of the incomprehensible system in China.

Director’s Biography

Zeng Jinyan
Zeng Jinyan is a Fujian Hakka who was born in 1983. Graduate of Economics in The Renmin University of China, she is now an Mphil student in the University of Hong Kong, researching on women's struggle for social justice via activist documentary. Jinyan is a human rights activist who has founded an AIDS charity in 2004. Because of the blog she maintained and her protest against house arrest, Jinyan was selected as TIME Magazine’s 100 People Who Shape Our World in 2007 as a hero and a pioneer. Also, her blog won the Best of the Blogs Award which was held by the Voice of German in 2008. She has finished producing “Prisoners in Freedom City” in 2007, and has published “The Freedom·Jail·Life” in December 2011.

Hu Jia
Was born in 1973. He began to participate in Chinese environmental movement in 1996 and AIDS in China. He was sentenced to 3.5 years jail in April 2008 and was released in June 2011. Hu was put under house arrest again in November 2012 during 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. He continues to call for democracy in China even he is still prisoned in “Freedom City”.

Taiwan Independent Film Festival 2008


China / 2010 / Color / 19 min
In Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles
Director : Ying Liang

Burial rites become the mise-en-scène in which politicians, the media, a monk and an infuriated neighbour vividly portray the aftermath of a car accident. According to director Ying Liang, five years before the shooting of this film, “I was among the witnesses of a traffic accident. In Chinese, ‘monument’ and ‘sadness’ have the same pronunciation. I'd like to use this short film to serve as a small monument.” After stills from media reports of the accident, Condolences becomes a singular, one-shot take of wonderful cinematic empathy and beauty. The limited resources are nonetheless enough to evocatively convey Ying Liang's distinctive style and heartfelt preoccupations.

Director’s Biography

Ying Liang
Born in 1977 in Shanghai, graduated from the Department of Directing at the Chongqing Film Academy and Beijing Normal University. He started to film experimental shorts in 1999. His works include “Taking Father Home” (2005), “The Other Half” (2006), “Good Cats” (2007) and “When Night Falls” (2012).