Hu Mei


Hu Mei
b. 1958, Beijing
Film director/producer
A 1982 graduate of the Beijing Film Academy, Hu Mei is a ‘Fifth Generation’ film director (see Fifth Generation (film directors)) as well as an important women’s director. Hu’s film career began when she was assigned the position of assistant director at the August First Film Studio, one of the major state-owned film production centres. Her debut, Army Nurse (Nü’er lou, 1985), is one of the important women’s films, addressing issues of gender and female directorship.
The film asserts a female voice through voice-over narration and employs a female perspective in structuring its point of view. Nonetheless, the protagonist finds herself trapped as the woman’s voice collides with official discourse and female desires conflict with social role. Hu’s second film, Far from War (Yuanli zhanzheng de niandai, 1987), explores the dislocation felt by an old former revolutionary as current socio-cultural norms begin to contradict his lifelong political ideals.
Following these psychological studies of gender and emotion, Hu Mei immersed herself in commercial projects and entertaining films. In addition to a number of commercial features, such as The Gunslinger Without a Gun (Wuqiang qiangshou, 1988) and Urban Gunslinger (Dushi qiangshou, 1992), her interests expanded to include directing and producing television series. Recently, Hu was invited to direct a film about an Austrian woman (Fanny Ehner) who married a Chinese man she met in Vienna in 1931, moved to China, and continued to live in rural Zhejiang after her husband is deported (On the Other Side of the Bridge/Fengni de weixiao, 2002).

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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