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Mrs. Fang

Wang Bing
Germany, China, France, 2017
Production : Wil Productions, Idéale Audience


Fang Xiuying was a farmer born in Huzhou, Fujian in 1948. She suffered from Alzheimer’s for the last eight years of her life. By 2015, her symptoms were already very advanced and her treatment in a convalescent home was ineffective, so it was discontinued in June 2016 and she returned home. The film follows her ordeal first in 2015, and then in 2016 during the last ten days of her life.

Locarno 2017 - Cinéaste en compétition "The Films After Tomorrow" 2020

Tënk's film review

True to his desire to break with conventions, Wang Bing’s “Mrs. Fang” completes his study of the hidden face of contemporary China. The taboo of death that arrives to put an end to one’s working life becomes a record of his examination, at first formal (and then social and political), of the process that contrasts the day-to-day work of this family of fishers on the river with the slow progression of the bedridden old woman’s misery as she becomes the topic of all the family’s discussions. The director makes the moment of death normal once again. This inversion of reality is cinema’s charm, in the moment (supreme for death, banal in the action of fishing) that we redefine our conception of the future.

Daniela Persico,
programmer Locarno Film Festival

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Wang Bing

Born in the Chinese province of Shaanxi in 1967, Wang Bing studied photography at the School of Fine Arts and then film studies at the Beijing Film Academy. He began his career as an independent filmmaker in 1999 with a personal and ambitious project – living in a rundown industrial district in Shenyang that was about to be pulled down by order of a municipal reform, he filmed the lives of the neighbourhood’s workers. This gave rise to the extremely long documentary (over nine hours) “West of the Tracks”, a seminal work in documentary cinema. His films “Fengming, A Chinese Memoir”, “Coal Money” and “Three Sisters” were all selected at numerous festivals. His next feature film, “I Come From Ikotun” is one of the 20 projects competing in the special “The Films After Tomorrow” section of the 2020 Locarno Film Festival.

Other films in the collection: Locarno Film Festival