What's in the Darkness (Hei Chu You Shen Me)



Rafael 2 Sat, Oct 15, 2016 12:15 PM
Century Larkspur 3 Sun, Oct 16, 2016 2:00 PM
Film Info
Section:World Cinema
Mind the Gap
Running Time:98 min.
Director:Wang Yichun
Producer:Yang Wei
Du Jianhua
Screenwriter:Wang Yichun
Cinematographer:Zhao Long
Editor:Chen Bingfeng
Liu Guang
Cast:Su Xiaotong
Guo Xiao
Liu Dan
Lu Qiwei
Zhou Kui
Zhang Xueming
Print Source:China Film International
Note Writer:Rod Armstrong


Wang Yichun's dazzling debut melds the facets of a small-town murder mystery with potent social criticism of 1990s China, particularly the issue of abandoned girl babies that fill the country’s orphanages. In an unnamed northern locale, Qu Jing is a teenager who harbors dreams of pop stardom, though her current stage is an abandoned field, and whose sweet nature has recently attracted the romantic attention of a cute classmate. Shades of Blue Velvet creep into the drama when a murdered young woman’s body is discovered among tall reeds, but that’s just one more mystery in the life of a girl who is convinced that she’s adopted even if her parents won’t admit it. Wang, a female director, cleverly uses the contrast between Jing’s innocence and the tawdry crime to make insightful observations about the status of women in China in a film that deftly balances adolescent charm and gripping tension.

Guest in attendance 10/15 & 10/16: Du Jianhua (Producer)

Thanks to our Community Partner the Center for Asian American Media

Additional Information

Wang Yichun, Born in 1977, Yichun studied French before becoming a filmmaker. Her debut film What’s in the Darkness won the Best Director Award at the 9th FIRST International Film Festival Xining, China. The film was selected by the 66th Berlinale Generation Section.