Mrs. FangWang Bing
Country: Hong Kong France Germany
D: Wang Bing
E: Wang Bing, Dominique Auvray
DA: Wu Shenfang, Zhu Zhu
S: Wang Bing, Shan Xiaohui, Emmanuel Soland, Ding Bihan
P: Pierre-Olivier Bardet, Yang Wang, Kong Lihong
CP: Idéale Audience, Wil Productions
Asian Shadows International
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The slow, sure death of the titular woman –a sexagenarian with terminal Alzheimer’s– is backbone of this new documentary documentary by Wang Bing that won the Golden Leopard at Locarno. However, her long and almost chilling stay in a bed is only the center of the world Wang explores. Through her face, which seems strangely accusing or amazed by what surrounds it, we see what seems to be her extended family talking about her state and watching her, without the appearance of a doctor figure, waiting for her death. That choir of watchers continues taking care of its things, and to Wang that relationship between life and death in one same space is what matters: observing how the miserable economic conditions of the protagonists don’t allow them to do anything other than watch Mrs. Fang and continue working in order to survive while, little by little, inevitably and brutally, she passes away.
Born in 1967, he graduated from Beijing Film Academy in 1996, and is currently considered one of the foremost documentary filmmakers in the world. He has directed, among many other films, The Ditch (2010), Three Sisters (2012, winner of the Orizzonti Award at Venice), Ta’ang andBitter Money (both in 2016, and projected as part of a section focused on the director at the 31st Festival).