Clara Law (Law Cheuk-yiu) has amassed a substantial body of work as a writer and/or director, with upward of twenty feature credits between 1985 and 2015. Starting with her early Hong Kong–based films addressing sexuality, The Reincarnation of Golden Lotus ( Pan Jin Lian zhi qian shi jin sheng , 1989) and Temptation of a Monk (1993), Law embraced transnational cinema through invitations and awards from major international film festivals, as well as participating in Erotique (1994), a compilation film with multinational contributors. Her work insistently interrogates the interconnections among concepts of Asia, transcultural migrations, and filmmaking practice through narratives that exceed “Chineseness” both in terms of culture and ethnicity, and in terms of expectations for Asian women directors. Reconfigurations of sexual and cultural identity, and geopolitical correspondences and differentiations, consistently recur in her filmic narratives, as characters encounter new personal, cultural, racial and ethnic formations in the wake of geopolitical transmigrations.
Often described as one of Iran's premier film directors, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad is celebrated for her contribution to the country's cinema. She excels in representing contemporary situations, often in relation to the changing roles of women but also covering a broad spectrum of social issues, including war, poverty, domestic abuse, and class mobility. In her most recent film, Tales (2014), she seamlessly intersects seven different stories. In these narratives, Banietemad's most memorable women characters once again take the stage, reminding audiences of the historical and cultural significance of her previous films and how she has shaped the history of Iranian cinema in terms of the representation of women. Banietemad's characters embody a sense of nostalgia, in that women like Tooba (Golab Adineh), Nobar (Fatemah Motamed-Aria), and Sara (Baran Kosari) have become iconic. Yet in revisiting these characters, they are rewritten, re-described, and reinvigorated in dialogue with Iran's present. An oral history of Rakhshan Banietemad's career offers a rich lens into Iranian cinema and culture over nearly three decades.