A Soul Haunted by Painting
(1994, 125 minutes)
Director: Huang Shuqin
The film focuses on the rise of a Chinese painter, Pan Yuliang (1899-1977), as she went from prostitute to famed artist in Paris. The film opens with then 12-year old Pan working in a brothel in a small rural town. She is soon hired to become a prostitute after the head hooker retires and is killed. She meets her eventual husband, Zanhua, on her very first night. He already had a wife, but he married Pan anyway, and they moved to the city where Pan studied painting at the Shanghai Arts Institute. The institute is closed after a series of demonstrations of people resenting foreign influences on Chinese art, and from those against the use of nude models. Pan still does nude portraits, but uses her body as the model. She becomes famous after her self-portrait “Bathing Woman” wins a French prize. Since her husband earlier went back to his former wife, Pan is free to move to Paris where her work continued to garner critical acclaim.
Retrospective of Chinese Women Directors (1950s - Present) Series
This film series will present the works of four remarkable women directors, each negotiating a perspective or commentary alternative to the mainstream cinema of the time. All films are in Chinese with English Subtitles. This is the sixth film of eight.