FQ board member and contributor Chris Berry translates a conversation between the independent female filmmakers Ai Xiaoming and Zeng Jinyan. Although of different generations, Xiaoming and Zeng are both outliers in China's male-dominated film industry. The most prominent women filmmaker among the first generation of independent documentarians, Ai Xiaoming has lived under virtual house arrest since Xi Jinping's rise to power in 2012. Zeng Jinyan came to public attention in 2006, when she documented the disappearance of her husband, civil rights activist Hu Jia, in a protest blog; she later completed a PhD on the work of Ai Xiaoming while in exile in Hong Kong. Both women have recently reentered public life, Ai Xiaoming writing about her experiences of the novel coronavirus lockdown in her hometown of Wuhan and Zeng releasing a new film, Hanjiao yu eryu (Outcry and Whisper), focusing on the special pressures placed on women who dare to speak out in public in China.

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