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EXPERIENCE

Dancing with Water:
Women’s cinema from contemporary China
Feb-April 2024
London

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                 Dancing with water is a film season curated and programmed by Kiki Tianqi Yu (Senior Lecturer in Film, QMUL) and Shan Tong (Curator of BISFF), with the aim to revitalise the way we think feminism, power, cinema, and artistic practice. At a time when feminism requires critical re-evaluation in the face of overwhelming neo-liberalisation; when women filmmakers globally request serious appreciation under the patriarchal structure of film industries; and when debates on women become a rare platform for public engagement within the PRC, Dancing with water captures a burgeoning energy of fluidity, flexibility and resilience of Chinese women filmmakers and their cinemas. Creating a space to connect debates of women and cinema with the Daoist concept of yin as a transformative power, it encourages us to value the water like feminine force, as not only soft and formless but also pervasive and tenacious.

 

Along side 5 screening sessions of 12 features and 9 shorts made by PRC women filmmakers, there are also Q&As, panel discussions, filmmakers’ talks, and Dao Yin meditative workshop, where the audience’s participations shape the debates. Bringing contemporary Chinese women filmmakers under spotlight, and engaging conversations with UK audiences and industrial professionals, it also aims to help the audience to revaluate their own strength facing difficult times.

 

Funded by the Centre for Public Engagement large Grant, Queen Mary University of London, led by Kiki Tianqi Yu, with support from QMUL’s Film Studies Department, BLOC, and in partnership with the Garden Cinema, Bertha DocHouse, Beijing International Short Film Festival, Sine Screen, & Queer East Festival.

Blue Smoke
Film Preview

Diving deep into women’s psyche on how they negotiate with gendered limitations and sextual desires, films in this session do not shy away from presenting women’s fear and vulnerabilities, and their quiet resistance to societal and patriarchal expectations.

The crucial stage of gaining gendered consciousness and self-discovery through maternal ties has stimulated the proliferation of recently women’s cinema that is also often through directors’ self-performance.

The massive reservoir of familial memories and the country’s past continues to shape women’s imagination of and desire for a more generous future. Their determination of waving pasts and futures together also bring them courage to break formal boundaries of cinema.

The inner worlds of women are like a maze. Formless like water, they can unite together to form an unimaginable power that has the potential to breaks unbearable restraints.

The diaspora, being an integral part of an indelible experience, profoundly influences individuals' memory. Women's cinema adeptly captures these nuanced intricacies through a diverse range of observations in and outside China.

Red Chairs

Timetable

March 2024
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
26
27
28
29
1
2
13:30
This Woman (Alan Zhang, 90 min, 2023) – docufiction – OPENING FILM
+1 more
3
4
5
6
7
8
14:00
International Women's Day Forum on Chinese women's cinema and women filmmakers
+1 more
9
10
13:30
Stonewalling (Huang Ji and Ryuji Otsuka, 148 min, 2022)
+1 more
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
12:00
Dao Yin Workshop
+1 more
+2 more
25
26
27
28
29
30
13:30
Anachronic Chronicles: Voyages Inside / Out Asia (Pan Lu; Araki Yu, 63min, 2021) – nonfiction
+1 more
+2 more
31
13:00
Jet Lag (Zheng Lu Xinyuan, 111 min, 2022) - experimental, essay film
+1 more
1
2
3
4
5
6
14:00
Barbarian Invasion (Tan Chui Mui, 106 min, 2021)
+1 more
7
Shadow Show

Booking

  • Sat, 02 Mar
    London
    02 Mar 2024, 13:30 – 16:00
    London, Bertha DocHouse, Curzon Bloomsbury The Brunswick Centre, London WC1N 1AW, UK
    02 Mar 2024, 13:30 – 16:00
    London, Bertha DocHouse, Curzon Bloomsbury The Brunswick Centre, London WC1N 1AW, UK
    With Q&A In this impressive and courageous debut docufiction, Alan Zhang follows the journey of a young woman in order to profoundly question the role of women in contemporary Chinese society. Booking Link: HTTPs://dochouse.org/event/dancing-with-water-this-woman/
  • Fri, 08 Mar
    BLOC, Arts One Buildilng, QMUL
    08 Mar 2024, 14:00 – 20:00
    BLOC, Arts One Buildilng, QMUL, 327 Mile End Rd, Bethnal Green, London E1 4NS, UK
    08 Mar 2024, 14:00 – 20:00
    BLOC, Arts One Buildilng, QMUL, 327 Mile End Rd, Bethnal Green, London E1 4NS, UK
    1:40pm Door open and registration 2-4pm Panel: Women’s cinema and women filmmakers from contemporary China Break 4:30-6:10pm Screening of Egg and Stone (dir. Huang Ji, 2012 6:20-7:20 pm Huang Ji in conversation with Kiki Tianqi Yu
  • Sun, 10 Mar
    London
    10 Mar 2024, 13:30 – 17:30
    London, The Garden Cinema, London WC2B 5PQ, UK
    10 Mar 2024, 13:30 – 17:30
    London, The Garden Cinema, London WC2B 5PQ, UK
    with Q&A Booking Link: https://www.thegardencinema.co.uk/film/dancing-with-water-stonewalling/
  • Sun, 24 Mar
    London
    24 Mar 2024, 12:00
    London, 327 Mile End Rd, Bethnal Green, London E1 4NS, UK
    24 Mar 2024, 12:00
    London, 327 Mile End Rd, Bethnal Green, London E1 4NS, UK
    Dao yin is an ancient Daoist practice of aligning and stretching movements, an integral part of the ancient Daoist cultivation called yang sheng (nourishing life), which also includes meditation.
  • Sun, 24 Mar
    BLOC, Arts One Building
    24 Mar 2024, 15:30
    BLOC, Arts One Building, 327 Mile End Rd, Bethnal Green, London E1 4NS, UK
    24 Mar 2024, 15:30
    BLOC, Arts One Building, 327 Mile End Rd, Bethnal Green, London E1 4NS, UK
    Premiered at Venice Film Festival, Mama follows twelve-year-old Xiaoxian’s memories of her family and her village, During seven days, the girl witnesses three deaths and two births, including the death of her own mother, who lost her life giving birth to her fourth sister.
  • Sat, 30 Mar
    Arts One Building, BLOC
    30 Mar 2024, 13:30 – 17:10
    Arts One Building, BLOC, 327 Mile End Rd, Bethnal Green, London E1 4NS, UK
    30 Mar 2024, 13:30 – 17:10
    Arts One Building, BLOC, 327 Mile End Rd, Bethnal Green, London E1 4NS, UK
    1:30pm - 3:00 pm In/Out Asia, Q&A with the director Pan Lv Link to booking: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/607928 Please stay for the short film session "Diaspora Blues" at BLOC 3:40pm - 5:10pm 30 March, with Q&A. Link to booking: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/607831
  • Sat, 30 Mar
    Arts One Building, BLOC
    30 Mar 2024, 15:30 – 17:00
    Arts One Building, BLOC, 327 Mile End Rd, Bethnal Green, London E1 4NS, UK
    30 Mar 2024, 15:30 – 17:00
    Arts One Building, BLOC, 327 Mile End Rd, Bethnal Green, London E1 4NS, UK
    The diaspora, being an integral part of an indelible experience, profoundly influences individuals' memory. Women's cinema adeptly captures these nuanced intricacies through a diverse range of observations in and outside China. Booking Link: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/607831
  • Sun, 31 Mar
    The Garden Cinema
    31 Mar 2024, 13:00
    The Garden Cinema, The Garden Cinema, London WC2B 5PQ, UK
    31 Mar 2024, 13:00
    The Garden Cinema, The Garden Cinema, London WC2B 5PQ, UK
    Booking Link: https://www.thegardencinema.co.uk/film/dancing-with-water-presents-jet-lag-the-cloud-in-her-room/
  • Sat, 06 Apr
    London
    06 Apr 2024, 14:00 – 18:00
    London, The Garden Cinema, London WC2B 5PQ, UK
    06 Apr 2024, 14:00 – 18:00
    London, The Garden Cinema, London WC2B 5PQ, UK
    Film showing with Q&A Booking Tickets: https://www.thegardencinema.co.uk/film/dancing-with-water-barbarian-invasion/
  • Fri, 26 Apr
    London
    26 Apr 2024, 13:30 – 16:30
    London, The Garden Cinema, London WC2B 5PQ, UK
    26 Apr 2024, 13:30 – 16:30
    London, The Garden Cinema, London WC2B 5PQ, UK
    1:30pm 26 April, with Q&A. Booking Link: https://www.thegardencinema.co.uk/film/dancing-with-water-green-night/

Launching event
1pm, 11 Feb 2024 Chinese New Year
@ BLOC

Public Panel Discussions
8 March 2024 @ BLOC

Filmmaker's talks
@ Film Studies,
Queen Mary University of London

Dao Yin Workshop
12pm 24 March 2024
@ BLOC BLACK BOX

 

Launching the film season with a public screening of This Woman (Alan Zhang, 90 min, 2023) (Free Tickets), followed by Q&A with the filmmakers and a panel discussion.

Wine reception.

Led by an experienced meditator, this three hours section will introduce basic techniques of Dao Yin meditation, followed by a screening of a slow film Mama.

*max. 20 people.

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