Xiaoshuai Wang

Active - 1993 - 2019  |   Born - May 22, 1966   |   Genres - Drama

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Biography by Jonathan Crow

Wang Xiaoshuai is a prominent member of China's nascent Sixth Generation of filmmakers. Unlike their Fifth Generation counterparts such as Zhang Yimou, Tian Zhuangzhuang, and Chen Kaige, they were too young to experience the full savagery of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution. Thus, instead of toiling with the peasants, they were able to enter the Beijing Film Academy directly after completing high school. Wang entered the B.F.A. in 1985 and upon graduation he was assigned to Fujian Film Studios in southern China. There he performed a variety of jobs until he decided to borrow money to independently make a feature film. This was a highly unusual move in Communist China. Yet Wang, like his Sixth Generation colleague Zhang Yuan, having witnessed their elders' torturous go-arounds with government censors, decided to opt out. After subsisting for weeks on a single meal a day of instant noodles or bread and cabbage, Wang released The Days. Though the film, a study on the slow deterioration of an artist couple's relationship, was widely acclaimed in the West, it has yet to be distributed in China. Unlike Fifth Generation filmmakers who populate their films with issues of national concern, in The Days Wang dealt with personal issues such as sexuality and identity with unprecedented frankness. With the success of this outing, Wang managed to secure international grant money for his successive works, including Frozen (released under the pseudonym of Wu Ming) and So Close to Paradise (1999) which was produced by Tian Zhuangzhuang.

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