Ning Ying

Ning Ying
b. 1959, Beijing
Ning Ying is an independent female filmmaker and screenwriter who has become the main representative of ‘new realist film’ (xin xianshi zhuyi) that combines technique with realistic storytelling. Ning Ying entered the Beijing Film Academy in 1978 and is a graduate of the Fifth Generation class of 1982 (see Fifth Generation (film directors)). From 1982 to 1986 she studied film in Italy and was Bernardo Bertolucci’s assistant director for The Last Emperor. After first assisting other directors, she made her debut, a comedy feature called Somebody Loves Just Me (You ren pianpian aishang wo), in 1990.
Ning Ying is best known for her Beijing trilogy: Zhao le (For Fun, 1992), Minjing gushi (On the Beat, 1995) and Xiari nuan yangyang (I Love Beijing, 2000). For Fun is a piece about retirees trying to set up a Peking opera group; On the Beat is a police movie in which policeman Yang is ordered to exterminate all the domesticated dogs and discovers that the social system is the enemy; I Love Beijing follows the life and loves of a young taxi driver. Her semi-documentary storytelling, use of mostly amateur actors, and appropriate technique draw a realistic image of the contemporary Beijing of ordinary people. Her combination of social criticism and wit has become a hallmark of Ning Ying’s art as a filmmaker, screenwriter and editor and makes her a rather unique ‘Fifth Generation’ director.
White, Jerry (1997). The Films of Ning Ying: China Unfolding in Miniature’. Cineaction 42.1:2–9.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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