In the film, the story of Bian’s death is told by various eye witnesses, including her colleagues, one of her daughters, and her husband Wang Jingyao. Wang took photographs of her body after she was killed, of big character posters condemning her, and has kept other kinds of documentation and evidence such as her bloodstained clothes. The film also includes archival footage of radio broadcasts announcing the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.
Bian Zhongyun was the principal of the Girls Middle School attached to Beijing Normal University. She was beaten to death by girl Red Guards who were students at her school. They used wooden clubs, spiked with nails. The school was an elite institution and many of the students were children or relatives of senior government officials. Bian was one of the first victims of the Cultural Revolution, on the fifth of the Bloody August of 1966, and her brutal treatment set the tone for the madness that followed. —danwei.org
Hu Jie was born in 1958 and graduated from the Art College for the People’s Liberation Army, where he majored in oil painting. In 1995, he began to make documentaries. His films include Yuanmingyuan Artist Village (1995), Remote Mountains (1995), The Female Matchmaker (1996), On the Seaside (1999–2003), Mountain Songs in the Plain (2001–2003), Looking for Lin Zhao’s Soul (1999–2004), Bask in Sunshine (2002) and The Elected Village Chief (2000–2004). He also made a series of short films about migrant workers, including The Trash Collector (1998), The Janitors (1998), The Construction Workers (1998) and The Factory Set up by the Peasants (1998). —Senses of Cinema
Definitely a film made for a Chinese audience, and in order to reach international audiences I really feel like it should have undergone some changes in order to make it more accessible. A real shame, really. I feel really terrible giving such an intense, personal and tragic film such a poor rating but it's just such a shame that this didn't work for me. In dire need of editing and proper contextual framing.