All About My Sisters
Director: Wang Qiong Run Time: 174 min. Format: Digital Projection Release Year: 2021 Language: Chinese
Join us for an in-person Q&A, with Director Wang Qiong, on November 10th following the screening of All About My Sisters at the Brattle at 7 PM!
“Why are you filming this?” a woman asks the camera in the first scene of All About My Sisters. The catalyst for Wang Qiong’s epic project is her older sister’s disclosure that she would get an abortion if she is pregnant again with a daughter—after the formal end of China’s one-child policy. Contrasting with Western depictions of the one-child policy and stereotypes of its effects, complications, and enforcement that we usually see in the US, Wang embarks on and records the process of reconciliation within her own family over seven years. Since childhood, Wang felt a rift between herself, her parents, her siblings, and her estranged younger sister Jin, who survived an attempted lethal injection and abandonment by her parents before being adopted by her biological aunt and uncle to be raised as their daughter, which was exacerbated by the things that were not said, and the hurt that has remained unacknowledged. Parts of the film involve investigative interviews with medical staff and bureaucrats who helped both enact and resist the policy. But in the heart of the film, the family dinners, arguments, phone calls, and conversations recorded against the backdrop of the family business, a portrait photo studio, Wang sensitively and empathetically draws connections between then and now, and courageously points a way forward.
Trained in documentary filmmaking in China’s first non-profit participatory film center, Wang has taken the counternarrative ethos of grassroots documentary movements and transformed it into a lifelong durational practice; All About My Sisters is the first film in a planned tetralogy following the four sufferings of Buddhism (birth, death, illness, and aging), heralding a long-term filmmaking practice as well as a brave filmmaking début. (AS)
“‘No one is innocent in this matter,’ says Jin, a woman who, despite being tangibly scarred by her situation, still comes off as brave, strong, and forthright. All of the easy answers are avoided in All About My Sisters, and ultimately, no one is absolved of responsibility for their actions.” — Matt Turner, nonlinearities
World Premiere at the 2021 International Film Festival Rotterdam. Official Selection of the 2021 New York Film Festival.
Please Note: All in-person screenings at the Brattle now require proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test (within 72-hours).