Controversial documentary sketches the double life of the young Niu Hongmiao, who cares for her sick father in the countryside and works in Beijing as a prostitute. A picture gradually emerges of the Chinese sex industry. A world with its own language, rituals and rules.
Controversial portrait of the young Niu Hongmiao, who earns her money in the eastern area of Beijing as a prostitute. In order to help her parents and to care for her severely ill father, she heads for the countryside during the wheat harvest, where she also leaves all her savings behind. The film jumps backwards and forwards in time and shows the complex double life that Niu Hongmiao tries to maintain.
During screenings in China and Hong Kong, the documentary led to a great deal of controversy. Audiences wondered why the director did not do more to hide the identity of those involved. With a combination of cinéma vérité and interviews, Xu Tong sketches a picture of the sex industry in Beijing and shows the loyalty and dignity of the men and women who work there. In front of the camera an underground world emerges with its own language, rituals and rules and centred on strong, self assured women, who are, just like the subject, rare in Chinese films and documentaries. —Rotterdam Film Festival