Award-winning Chinese film sparks discussion by tackling aftermath of child molestation

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/11/26 19:03:39

Promotional material for Angels Wear White Photo: IC


Promotional material for Angels Wear White Photo: IC



Premiering in the Chinese mainland on Friday, award-winning Chinese film Angels Wear White ignited widespread discussion on China's social media platforms as the film's debut came on the heels of reports of child abuse at a Beijing kindergarten.

Directed by Chinese director Vivian Qu, the modern noir film focuses on Mia, a teenager who becomes the sole witness to the sexual assault of two young schoolgirls by a middle-aged man, and Wen, one of the victims of the assault, as they try to free themselves from increasingly harrowing circumstances.

"Releasing at this point in time [when everyone is talking about child abuse], Angels Wear White feels like a surrealist social fable," wrote film blogger Dianying Tongjiling (lit. Film Wanted Poster) on Sina Weibo on Friday, referring to the film's coincidental premiere the day after accounts of serial child abuse at an RYB Education kindergarten in Beijing shocked the nation.

The film currently holds an 8.6/10 rating on Chinese review site Douban, where many Chinese netizens and critics compared it to the South Korean film Silenced, a realistic masterpiece that also focuses on child abuse and which sparked a huge social outcry when it was released in 2011.

"This year's best Chinese-language film. It's like the Chinese version of Silenced. However, its artistic value is definitely higher than that of the latter," wrote Douban user Xiedu Dianying.

"Child molestation is a rarely touched-upon topic in mainland films. It's obvious that it wasn't easy to get this film in theaters," wrote film blogger Yingmi Xinsheng on Sina Weibo. "The social significance and impact it may have on society makes it much more than just a film."

"This is one of the top Chinese-language films worth seeing this year," wrote film blogger Dianying Pinglunren (lit. Film Critic) on Sina Weibo. "While it takes child sex abuse as its theme, the film doesn't actually show any violence. Instead, it tells us how the people involved and the rest of society react to the event."

"Angels Wear White tells a daring story and features great performance from the actors and actresses," wrote film critic Neilu Feiyu on Sina Weibo.

Celebrities and stars were also recommending the film on social media.

"Due to a lack of screenings, it wasn't easy to see Angels Wear White… I had to take a cab to another block to finally see the film. A five-star film," wrote Liang Tian, a Hunan Satellite Television hostess, on Sina Weibo.

"A film that demonstrates a calm, affectionate and courageous female perspective,"Chinese actress Gao Yuanyuan posted on Sina Weibo.

Thanks to growing online discussions, the film's cinema screening percentage has increased from 1.6 percent on its premiere day to 4.5 on Sunday.

Despite the film's limited release compared to other blockbuster films, Angels Wear White raked in some 1.53 million yuan ($231,800) on its third day, paralleling the 1.57 million of the star-studded crime film Explosion.

Qu was titled best director for Angels Wear White at the 54th Golden Horse Awards on Saturday. The film was also among the 21 movies competing for the Golden Lion prize at the 74th Venice International Film Festival in September.

Newspaper headline: ‘Angels Wear White’

Posted in: FILM

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