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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Liuqing Yang at 5:26PM
Though I Am Gone (Wo Sui Si Qu), by Hu Jie

Blog post written by Lucy Yang, Journalism and Politics ’14, FLEFF Blogger, Puyang, Henan, China

Kevin Lee is Vice President of Programming and Education for dGenerate Films, one of FLEFF’s collaborative partners and a leading distributor of contemporary independent film from mainland China. He is an expert on contemporary Chinese cinema. This year at FLEFF, he will introduce and host discussions for three out of four Chinese independent documentaries brought by dGenerate Films. 

I had the opportunity to interview him and ask him which one is his favorite out of the four. His answer was Though I Am Gone, by dissent Chinese independent documentary filmmaker, Hu Jie.

“[Out of the four,] I have the longest history with Though I Am Gone. We’ve had that film for many years. The director, Hu Jie, is really a hero among Chinese independent directors. He’s one of the most fearless, independent, documentary filmmakers, especially with regards to historical films,” Lee said.

The documentary tells the story of a school teacher who was beaten to death by her own students during the Chinese Cultural Revolution and how her widower has been seeking justice for her death.

“There are very few documentary filmmakers who have done much to explore the hidden history, or the untold history, of China’s past, to actually find people who survived the labor camps and Cultural Revolution, to tell their stories, and to preserve the history before it dies,” Lee said. “I think it’s very exceptional on [Hu’s] part, that he’s made all these works. I have a very special appreciation and respect for what he’s done. And Though I Am Gone is really one of his most powerful films.”

I am really glad to find out that his choice coincides with mine. I have been so thrilled about this film being screened at this year’s FLEFF and I’ve recommended all my friends to go see it. 

I studied the Chinese Cultural Revolution during my semester studying abroad at the University of Hong Kong two years ago. There, I saw another documentary about the Cultural Revolution made by Hu, Searching for Lin Zhao’s Soul. Ever since then, Hu has been on top of my list of documentarians whom I look up to as an aspiring documentarian myself.

Though I Am Gone will be screened twice at Cinemapolis: 7:00 on Friday night by itself and 7:20 on Saturday night along with a short Chinese documentary also brought by dGenerate Films, The Questioning. Kevin Lee will host a discussion after the Saturday screening.

Watch the trailer for Though I Am Gone here


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