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“My motivation is to depict people I can identify with”

An Interview with Ning Ying
S. Louisa Wei


Ning Ying was admitted to the Beijing Film Academy in 1978 together with the “core” filmmakers of China’s Fifth Generation, but she left China for Italy in 1980 and completed her film training in the Rome Film Experimental Academy in 1986. After returning to China the next year, she first worked as Bernardo Bertolucci’s assistant director for The Last Emperor (1987). She made her directorial debut with a commercially successful film Someone Loves Just Me (You ren pianpian aishang wo, 1990), and then directed her “Beijing Trilogy”: For Fun( Zhao le, 1992), On the Beat( Minjing gushi, 1995), and I Love Beijing( Xiari nuan yangyang, 2000). For Funand On the Beatreceived many awards at international film festivals, and her realistic representation of contemporary China is highly regarded. Ning Ying's 2001 documentary Railroad of Hope( Xiwang zhi lü) won the Grand Prize at the Cinema du Réel festival in Paris. Her 2005 feature Perpetual Motion(Wuqiong dong) was awarded “Most Original Film” at the Rome Asian Film Festival in 2006. (SLW)

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Electronic reference

S. Louisa Wei, « “My motivation is to depict people I can identify with” », China Perspectives [Online], 2010/1 | 2010, Online since 01 April 2013, connection on 14 December 2017. URL :

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About the author

S. Louisa Wei

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