Liu Miaomiao

b. 1962, Ningxia
Film director
In 1978, Liu enrolled in the Beijing Film Academy at age sixteen. The youngest graduate from the directing class, she was assigned a position in the Xiaoxiang Film Studio in Hunan, where she has remained since 1982. Women on the Long March (Mati shengsui, 1987) is an important early work that focuses on eight female Red Army soldiers who struggle to survive as they try to join up with the main force. Although the film takes the Long March as its subject, a female perspective and nondramatic approach subordinate the narrative to a consideration of women’s issues. After this serious experiment, Liu became involved in television and commercial film production. Memories of her childhood and her close attachment to relatives in rural China inspired a second serious work, The Gossiper (Zazuizi, 1992). The film centres on the figure of a lonely child and explores the alienation between adults and children. After her treatment of broadly humanistic themes from a personal and gendered perspective, Liu next turned to the genre of family melodrama.
The Family Feud (Jiachou, 1994) unveils the inner conflicts of a family running a pawnshop. Viewers learn how the female maid is forced to become the master’s concubine, how the son rebels against his father’s will, and how the servant inherits the family business and abuses the old master to death. Liu’s career has alternated between a quest to express an artistic vision and the need to attract financial support by appealing to mainstream tastes.
Liu, Miaomiao (1996). ‘Xiantan wode congying shengya’ [Comments on My Career in Film Directing]. In Yang Yuanying (ed.) (1996), Tamen de shengyin: Zhongguo nüdaoyan de zisu [Their Voices: Chinese Women Directors’ Self-expression]. Hebei: Zhongguo shehui, 241–9.
Shen, Yun. ‘Interview with Liu Miaomiao’. In Yang Yuanying (ed.) (1996), Tamen de shengyin: Zhongguo nüdaoyan de zisu [Their Voices: Chinese Women Directors’ Self-expression]. Hebei: Zhongguo shehui, 250–70.
Yun, Duo (1994). ‘Liu Miaomiao—A Fervent Director’. China Screen 3:22–3.
CUI SHUQIN

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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