Set against the backdrop of 21st century China, the filmmaker searches along the banks of the northern Yellow River and in remote villages in southwest Yunnan for the last survivors of Bound Feet.- China's thousand year-old tradition of erotic beauty, mutilation and female survival. Told through the first person narrative of the filmmaker who was raised by her bound-feet grandmother, the film captures otherwise lost voices and the haunting memory of 12 bound-feet Chinese women of ages ranging from 78 to 106, including that of the 90 year-old paper cut folk artist, Ms. Yang Hui Xiu. Through the exclusive portrayal of women of a bygone era, the film reveals one of the darkest secrets of Chinese civilization and women's changing destiny in a society once, and perhaps still, dominated by men.
About the Filmmaker:
Joanne Cheng is an Associate Professor of Cinema and Television, Chinese American Intercultural Filmmaker known for her intercultural documentary trilogy-Intimate Portraits of Contemporary China: CHINA GOLD RUSH (2000), a PBS Broadcast, MAMA’S GOLD- The Orphans of Shangri-La (2003), GOLDEN LOTUS-The Legacy of Bound Feet (2006), A CHILD, Autistic Challenge to China (2011) and QUEST OF SAGE (2012).
Born in Beijing, Cheng was an English speaking TV journalist and anchorwoman for China Central Television(CCTV) before immigrating to the US in 1988. Cheng first worked as a free lance translator/ director/producer for various New York based Advertising & PR companies and later in 1993 founded her own creative communication company East-West Corridor Communications providing bilingual marketing/PR consulting services for both corporate America doing business in China and TV/Film communities in New York. Cheng worked as investigative reporter/media consultant for US broadcast networks including ABC, MTV Asia, Discovery Channel and PBS.
Cheng graduated with a BA in English and Journalism from Beijing Foreign Studies University and a MA in TV/Film Communications Arts from University of Maryland. Cheng taught TV productions and Film Aesthetics at New York Institute of Technology ( NYIT, 2005-2007), Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University-United International College (UIC, 2007-2009), Cheng is now an associate professor of Cinema and Television for School of English and International Studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University(BFSU, from 2009 to present) teaching American Cinema Culture, Broadcast Journalism and Documentary Productions. Cheng is also the Director of Communication Arts Center, BFSU, organizer of the annual INTERCULTURAL FILM FORUM to be held at BFSU starting 2011.
This is the first installment in the Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies (WGSS) and Africana Studies' Film and Speaker Series, Spring 2012 that is being offered as part of the Consortium for Critical Interdisciplinary Studies (CCIS) Critical Inquiry Lab's "Theorizing Diasporic Visuality", an innovative series of linked courses. This year’s lab links Prof. Tina Campt’s (Barnard Africana/Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies [WGSS]) Africana Studies colloquium, AFRS BC3110 Theorizing Diasporas, with May Joseph’s (Pratt Social Science and Cultural Studies) WGSS course, WMST BC3117 Film and Feminism.