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Woman Demon Human

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Woman Demon Human (1992)

108 min - - 4 September 1992
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The fictional life and career of a famous actress in Chinese opera, a woman who goes against tradition by specializing in playing male roles, especially that of Zhang Kui, a benevolent ghost who appears in several Chinese operas. Although the actress's career brings wealth and fame, it is attained only through considerable struggle against an anti-female system and an unhappy personal life.

Director:  Shuqin Huang
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Storyline

The fictional life and career of a famous actress in Chinese opera, a woman who goes against tradition by specializing in playing male roles, especially that of Zhang Kui, a benevolent ghost who appears in several Chinese operas. Although the actress's career brings wealth and fame, it is attained only through considerable struggle against an anti-female system and an unhappy personal life.


Collections: Shuqin Huang

Tagline: Woman, Demon, Human is considered to be the first feminist film in China

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Country:   China
Language:  普通话
Release Date:  4 September 1992

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Technical Specs

Runtime:  1 h 48 min

The fictional life and career of a famous actress in Chinese opera, a woman who goes against tradition by specializing in playing male roles, especially that of Zhang Kui, a benevolent ghost who appears in several Chinese operas.

Although the actress’s career brings wealth and fame, it is attained only through considerable struggle against an anti-female system and an unhappy personal life.

Woman, Demon, Human is considered to be the first feminist film in China and is the first of Huang’s films to garner international attention. The film tells the story of Qiu Yun, an opera actress who effectively plays male roles, particularly that of Zhong Kui, and her personal struggles over gender identity and conflict resolution within her family life. The film constantly portrays its protagonist, based on real-life actress Pei Yanling, as actively struggling with Chinese gender norms.

Prior to filming, Huang felt the need to personally visit Pei Yanling to study her life, even going so far as to follow her on tour with her travelling troupe to get a better idea of her day-to-day life. Huang does this before every film she makes, believing it to be necessary to observe and understand life before filming. Despite its feminist reputation, Huang states that she didn’t direct Woman, Demon, Human with the intention of making a feminist film.

Woman, Demon, Human is critically acclaimed and has received awards nationally and internationally. [Wikipedia]