Programmed by Daniela Persico
Fang Xiuying was a farmer born in Huzhou, Fujian in 1948. She suffered from Alzheimer’s for the last eight years of her life. By 2015, her symptoms were already very advanced and her treatment in a convalescent home was ineffective, so it was discontinued in June 2016 and she returned home. The film follows her ordeal first in 2015, and then in 2016 during the last ten days of her life.
True to his desire to break with conventions, Wang Bing’s “Mrs. Fang” completes his study of the hidden face of contemporary China. The taboo of death that arrives to put an end to one’s working life becomes a record of his examination, at first formal (and then social and political), of the process that contrasts the day-to-day work of this family of fishers on the river with the slow progression of the bedridden old woman’s misery as she becomes the topic of all the family’s discussions. The director makes the moment of death normal once again. This inversion of reality is cinema’s charm, in the moment (supreme for death, banal in the action of fishing) that we redefine our conception of the future.
programmer Locarno Film Festival