88' 2016 China director: Jian Fan cinematography: Ming Xue, Jian Fan editing: Matthieu Laclau, Jian Fan production: Youku Tudou
With short poem “Crossing Half of China to Sleep With You,” Yu Xiuhua became a nationwide online sensation almost overnight. Shortly thereafter, this poet from an agricultural province of China, was already a literary star, enthusiastically met by crowds of fans in Beijing. Fame and genuine popularity brought her money that she intends to use in a difficult battle for independence that, thanks to Jian Fan’s film, is fought literally right in front of our eyes. Suffering from cerebral palsy, Yu, was married off by her parents at the age of 19 to spend her life in a relationship devoid of love and desire. Now, without consideration for her reputation or the opinion of her parents and of her husband, she is adamant about getting a divorce. A fascinating combination of absolute sincerity and subtle sensitivity characterize not only the poetry of Yu Xiuhua but also the film art of Jian Fan, to which we owe a debt of gratitude for one of the most beautiful documentaries of recent years.