Out of competition
Each year, LACFF will showcase distinguished works from our partner film festivals at our Out of Competition session. This year, we exhibit Jolin: The evolution of My Life, a documentary short recommended by DC Chinese Film Festival (DCCFF) in appreciation of DCCFF’s unconditional support. Tickets are FREE and open for reservation online.
jolin: the evolution of my life
siyan liu&danni wang/CHINA&US/40MINS/la premiere
Dongguan, simultaneously the manufacturing hub and inadvertent sex capital of China; it is home to 1.7 million female factory workers, 300,000 of which comprised of former factory girls turned sex workers. Since the government crackdown on prostitution in 2014, an increasingly growing number of women seek to flee Dongguan - and the stigma associated with it. It is here that 22-year-old country girl, Jolin, has worked for the past five years, and where her story begins.
A former factory girl, 22-year-old Jolin is the only child of her family, who has found work as a stripper in Dongguan. She undergoes risky plastic surgery to look more 'sexy' and tries to find her estranged father for reasons that go beyond healing her fractured family. She hopes to leave Dongguan behind and become a famous actress in Shanghai. Jolin's story depicts a young girl's “Chinese Dream” and the sadness of China's loneliest generation.
JOLIN: The Evolution of My Life is a developing project inspired by Siyan Liu and Danni Wang's co-directed MFA thesis film SISTER JOLIN. In order to get an access to the factory and build trust with factory workers, we worked in two Japanese factories’ assembly lines for a month; standing 12 hours per day for a 2 USD-per- hour pay.
This project is originally inspired by American writer Leslie T. Chang’s ‘New York Time’s Bestseller Book in 2008’ Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China and Chinese writer Ding Yan’s book Factory Girl. These two different perspectives provide us
a distinctive way to see Dongguan’s prostitution issue occurred in the early 2014. By developing our thesis film, we spent one more year to add a deeper layer to our film. We’ve been co-worked on this project for almost three years. We’re pursuing a more comprehensive understanding of our character. We would like to tell a story from Chinese young generation’s point of view and present a conception of female migrant workers in Dongguan seem to live in “a perpetual present.” Once their vanishing dignities encounter the desire of fortune and fame, they will inevitable to do whatever it takes for better survivals. The quotes from Jolin’s dairy will be used as narration, her story will be told with mostly cinema vérité. Unlike many documentaries, We don’t plan on showing a lot of formal interviews, but overlaying our character’s voice over the intimate moments of her life. We want the audience to see the world through character’s eyes. Jolin's story depicts a young girl's “Chinese Dream” and the sadness of China's loneliest generation.
Siyan Liu is a Chinese filmmaker based in New York City who received her MFA in Social Documentary Film from School of Visual Arts in 2015. She used to be a screenwriter for fiction films. She has been worked as an assistant director in the Documentary Channel of China Central Television (CCTV-9) for two years. Liu’s film JOLIN: The Evolution of My Life has been officially selected by the 40th Montreal World Film Festival, the 39th Asian American International Film Festival, and the 3rd DC Chinese Film Festival, etc. She is preparing for her first narrative feature about postpartum depression.
Danni Wang is a Chinese filmmaker based in New York City who graduated from MFA in Social Documentary Film at School of Visual Arts in 2015. She used to work as an assistant director in Shenzhen Television Station. Her college thesis documentary short FAMILY STORIES was officially selected by China Independent Film Festival 2013 and Chinese Documentary Festival 2013. Her film JOLIN: The Evolution of My Life has been officially selected by the 40th Montreal World Film Festival, the 39th Asian American International Film Festival, and the 3rd DC Chinese Film Festival, etc.