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Sun, 11 Feb


BLOC, Arts One Building

Launch event and screening of This Woman

1:30 pm door-open 1:45 pm welcome speech 2-3:30 pm screening of This Woman (2023) by artist, feminist Alan Zhang. 3:30-4:30 pm panel discussion 4:30 pm drinks

Launch event and screening of This Woman
Launch event and screening of This Woman

Time & Location

11 Feb 2024, 13:30 – 17:30 GMT

BLOC, Arts One Building, 327 Mile End Rd, Bethnal Green, London E1 4NS, UK


About the event

About the panellists:

Alan Zhang (Director of This Woman)

Alan (Ah Lan) is a director, artist and feminist activist. Her moving image works include I come to Abandon, Sperm Seeker Ah Lan. This woman won Special Jury Award offered by la Société des Hôteliers de la Côte.

Haihai Li (main character of This Woman)

Li is a producer and actor. She was the former chef editor of Movie and Television Industry Net in China, and have more than 10 years’ experiences working in the field before she quit her job in 2021, to experience a different life and to start making films.

Chris Berry (Professor of Film Studies, King’s College London)

Professor Berry’s research is focused on cinemas of the Sinosphere. In the 1980s, he introduced the first wave of Chinese “women’s cinema” (nüxing dianying) in the house journal of China Film Export and Import Corporation, China Screen, and the feminist film studies journal, Camera Obscura, where he published interviews with directors Zhang Nuanxin, Peng Xiaolian, and Hu Mei. He has continued to write about gender and sexuality in cinemas of the Sinosphere ever since.

Shan TONG (Curator of Dancing with Water, film researcher based in Beijing)

Tong holds a PhD from School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. Her research focuses on documentary theory and practice, Chinese cinemas, filmmaking practices of Chinese independent documentary and art cinema, and film festival culture. She has published academic articles in peer-reviewed international journals, including Studies in Documentary Film and Journal of Chinese Cinemas. Tong engages in film and moving image curation and currently works as a programmer for Beijing International Short Film Festival (BISFF). Her curatorial projects include ‘Qingnian Express: New Voices and Visions of Chinese Independent Cinema Today’ (in collaboration with Dr. Ran MA at Nagoya University) for the 36th Image Forum Festival (Tokyo, Kyoto and Nagoya, 2022), and ‘Home Movies, Personal Archives’ (Beijing 2021).

Kiki Tianqi Yu (Director and curator of Dancing with Water, Senior Lecturer in Film, QMUL)

Yu’s research, in theory and practice, explores cinema in relation to decoloniality, personal expressions and Eastern philosophies, with a focus on nonfiction and documentary, women’s cinema and Chinese cinemas. She is the author of ‘My’ Self on Camera: First Person Documentary Practice in an Individualising China (EUP, 2019), co-editor of China’s iGeneration: Cinema and Moving Image Culture for the 21 Century (Bloomsbury 2014) and the special issue of Studies in Documentary Film “Feminist Approaches in Women’s First Person Documentaries from East Asia” (2020 14:1). Her current research investigates cinema through Daoist philosophy, and her most recent article on Screen (64:4 2023) theorises film aesthetics through Daoism. Her films include Memory of Home (2009), China’s van Goghs (2016), and The Two Lives of Li Ermao (2019). She curated ‘Polyphonic China: Chinese independent documentary’ (London 2009), “New Generation Chinese Cinema” (London 2010), ‘Memory Talks: Personal Cinema” (Shanghai 2017) and ‘The Spirit of Mountains and Water: Gao Shiqiang’s Moving Image Art through Cosmological Thinking’ (2023).

Curator’s note:

Co-created by the director Alan and the lead actor Li Haihai, this docufiction explores the ambiguous relationship between fiction and non-fiction, performativity and reality. Its controversial nature also manifests its value in opening up public debates on women's issues in contemporary China. If it is a fiction, the heroine's candid confessions to the camera at the beginning and end reveal too much inner truth of the so-called ordinary Chinese married women. The dialogue between the heroine and her mother about love and marriage shows the director's ability to intervene reality, and the rare trust and tacit understanding between the director and the characters. If it is a non-fiction, then the seemingly ordinary heroine is very brave and goes beyond expectations to do things that many may desire to do but not dare to. She works hard to shoulder the responsibilities for her children, mother, husband, and work. For her, love is an antidote to pressure in the real world. (Kiki Tianqi Yu)


  • 2 hours 30 minutes

    This Woman (Alan Zhang, 90 min, 2023)



  • This Woman

    This Woman (Alan Zhang, 90 min, 2023) – docufiction – OPENING FILM

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