Hu Jie 胡杰 - Director
Film Screening, Introduction and Q&A with Director Hu Jie
In Search For Lin Zhao’s Soul (Xun Zhao Lin Zhao De Ling Hun)
Directed by Hu Jie (China, 2004. 115 min., Mandarin with English subtitles)
This film traces a story that happened 40 years ago. Lin Zhao, a student of Beijing University, was among the first to fight dictatorship after 1949 in an open, self-conscious, and sober way. During the Red Terror, she grew from a pure, loyal follower into a valiant fighter. She was imprisoned for 8 years and although deprived of pen and paper, she left hundreds of thousands of words written in her own blood: declarations, poems and notes of her thoughts. At a struggle meeting on April 29, 1968, she was gagged and later secretly killed. Even today the place and manner of her death are not known. The director sought out her former colleagues and classmates and others who might know a little about her, and recorded what happened to him on his journey in search of the soul of the dead girl.
Hu Jie was born in 1958 and graduated from the Art College for the People’s Liberation Army, where he majored in oil painting. For much of his life, he served in the Chinese air force, as a fighter jet mechanic, then as an officer. Later, Hu took a job as a cameraman for Xinhua, the government’s official news agency In 1995, he began to make documentaries. His films include Yuanmingyuan Artist Village (1995), Remote Mountains (1995), The Female Matchmaker (1996), On the Seaside (1999-2003), Mountain Songs in The Plain (2001-2003), Searching for Lin Zhao’s Soul (1999-2004), Bask in Sunshine (2002) and The Elected Village Chief (2000-2004). He also made a series of short films about migrant workers, including The Trash Collector (1998), The Janitors (1998), The Construction Workers (1998), The Factory Set Up by the Peasants (1998), and most recently Though I am gone (2006).