He Ping


He Ping
b. 1957, Beijing
Film director
He Ping is the filmmaker credited by international film critics as having reinvented the ‘Western’ genre in Chinese contemporary cinema. Having joined the Xi’an Film Studio, where he directed begun his career as an editor of documentaries, He his first feature film, The Swordsman of Double-flag Town (Shuangqizhen daoke, 1991). He won an award at the 43rd Berlin International Film Festival for this movie, which revolves around the adventures of a lonely swordsman looking for his bride in the barren land of the west region of the empire and is infused with a surreal atmosphere reminiscent of many Westerns.
His talent as teller of passionate yet utopian stories was confirmed in his next feature, Red Firecracker, Green Firecracker (Paoda shuangdeng, released in 1995), which addressed the issue of sexuality and power through a tragic love story between the brave daughter of a rural landlord and a commoner. The movie won awards at the San Sebastian and Hawaii International Film festivals. He’s subsequent movies have all been stories of intrepid and lonely medieval heroes in search of human interaction and spiritual awareness. Having chosen to remain within the structure of the state-owned studio system, He has managed to successfully combine the artistic ideals of the Fifth Generation (film directors) with the demands of the mass market. He was therefore one of the first contemporary filmmakers in China financed by Hollywood majors to direct big-budget yet completely locally made movies.
MARIA BARBIERI

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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