Female Subjectivity on and off the Screen: The Rare Case of Writer–Director Peng Xiaolian

  • S. Louisa Wei


Peng Xiaolian is a rare and prolific Chinese author who writes both fiction and non-fiction works and directs both dramatic and documentary films. To really understand Peng as a film auteur, however, it is necessary to look at her films and writings together. Given the quantity and complexity of her works and the space limitations of this article, this chapter examines Peng’s subversion of the conventional treatment of character, location, and time in three thematic sections reflecting the key narrative motifs in her work. This chapter first summarizes existing studies of Peng’s films, highlighting the rarely examined interaction between visuality and spatiality in her films. Then, after defining her sense of time in the narrative, this chapter demonstrates how family history and self-reflexivity are the major difference between her films and her nonfiction works. Last but not least, this chapter discusses how, through her use of multilayered narratives constructed by the female voice and subjectivity, her complete repertoire constitutes a unique history of modern Chinese women.


Peng Xiaolian Film auteur Visuality Subjectivity Female voice 


Filmography of Peng Xiaolian

  1. 1985. Director, feature film Wo he wo de tongxuemen 我和我的同学们 [My Classmates and Me]. Shanghai Film Studio.Google Scholar
  2. 1988. Director and co-writer, feature film Nüren de gushi 女人的故事 [Women’s Story]. Shanghai Film Studio.Google Scholar
  3. 1997. Director, feature film Quan sha 犬杀 [A Dog to Kill]. Shanghai Film Studio.Google Scholar
  4. 1999. Director, feature film Shanghai jishi 上海纪事 [Once upon a Time in Shanghai]. Shanghai Film Studio.Google Scholar
  5. 2000. Codirector and co-writer with Hu Yihong, feature film Keke de mosan 可可的魔伞 [Magic Umbrella]. Shanghai Animated Film Studio.Google Scholar
  6. 2001. Codirector with Ogawa Shinsuke, documentary Manzan benigaki [Red Persimmon]. Ogawa Productions.Google Scholar
  7. 2002. Director and co-writer with Xu Minxia, feature film Jiazhuang mei ganjue 假装没感觉 [Shanghai Women]. Shanghai Film Group.Google Scholar
  8. 2004. Director and co-writer, feature film Meili Shanghai 美丽上海 [Shanghai Story]. Tompson Films and Shanghai Film Group.Google Scholar
  9. 2006. Director and writer, feature film Shanghai lunba 上海伦巴 [Shanghai Rumba]. Shanghai Film Group.Google Scholar
  10. 2007. Director and writer, feature film Wo jianqiang de xiaochuan 我坚强的小船 [Shanghai Kids]. Shanghai Film Group.Google Scholar
  11. 2009. Codirector and co-writer with S. Louisa Wei, documentary Hongri fengbao 红日风暴 [Storm Under the Sun]. IDFA & Blue Queen Cultural Communication.Google Scholar
  12. 2017. Director and writer, feature film Qing Ni Jide Wo 請你記得我 [Please Remember Me].Google Scholar

Works Cited

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Louisa Wei
    • 1
  1. 1.City University of Hong KongHong KongPeople’s Republic of China

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