Jiang Yue

Jiang Yue
b. 1962, Beijing
Video documentary filmmaker
A graduate of the China Drama Institute, Jiang Yue has asserted himself as one of the major voices of the New Documentary Movement since making independent work in 1991. In the early 1990s, Jiang spent a few years in Tibet where he shot Tibetan Theatre Troupe of Lama Priests (Lama zangxituan, 1991), Bakhor (Bakuo jie, 1992), The Residents of Lhasa’s Potala Square (Xue jumin, 1992) and Catholics in Tibet (Tianzhu zai xizang, 1992). Back in Beijing, he directed The Other Shore (Bi’an, 1995), a meandering, fascinating, heart-wrenching meditation on artistic endeavour and failure.
Begun as a documentation of avant-garde theatre director Mou Sen’s rehearsals of Gao Xingjian’s play by the same name, Jiang ends up focusing on what happens after the performance is over, when the fourteen young students in the workshop find themselves unemployed and fight to keep their illusions and artistic drive in a society that marginalizes them. A River Stilled (Bei tingzhi de he, 1999), by contrast, is an intimate, sympathetic gaze at the lives of workers involved in building the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. Jiang reached artistic maturity with This Happy Life (Xingfu shenghuo, 2002), a powerful yet tender exploration of masculinity, in which he interweaves and compares the psyches of two railway workers in Hunan as they confront loss, emotional longing, unemployment and the constant challenge posed by women and children. In 1998, Jiang Yue opened a small production company, China Memo Films, with fellow documentary filmmaker Duan Jinchuan.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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