Saifu (Sai Fu) and Mailisi (Mai Lisi)
- Mongolian film directorsSaifu and Mailisi are two film directors, a husband and wife of Mongolian origin, famous for their films on Mongolian life and history, some of which have won numerous domestic and international prizes. Their most celebrated film is The Proud Son of Heaven: Genghis Khan (Yidaitianjiao Cheng jisihan), a film depicting the life of the founder of the Mongolian empire with a special emphasis on his childhood and his relationship with his mother. This film earned Saifu and Mailisi the Golden Rooster Award for best directors in 1997. Their most recent film is Heavenly Grassland (Tianshang caoyu, 2002).Saifu and Mailisi were born in Inner Mongolia in 1954 and 1956 and graduated from Jilin University and Inner Mongolia Normal University, respectively.Both also studied at the prestigious Beijing Film Academy and are currently affiliated with the Inner Mongolia Film Studio, of which Saifu is the president. Saifu and Mailisi’s films highlight Mongolian identity and therefore represent a general trend that began in China in the early to mid 1990s, in which minority artists have started to play a greater and more independent role in the construction and representation of their ethnicity in the national cultural sphere. Nevertheless, their work reflects at one and the same time the influence of Chinese cinema and the control that the state exerts on film production. The former is evident in many Chinese-style martial arts scenes which pervade their films, while the latter manifests itself in the financial aid and prizes which they have been awarded by the government, as well as in the fact that their films studiously avoid sensitive issues, such as the conflicts and wars between the Mongols and Han Chinese.See also: Mongols, culture of; minority pop musicians: the <NIMROD BARANOVITCH
Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. Compiled by EdwART. 2011.