Screening of a documentary on the dreams & disappointments of the young women who participated in the megahit "Super Girl Singing Contest" -- and a audience discussion with Jian Yi, the filmmaker
Tuesday, April 15, 20087:30 PM - 10:00 PM
2250 Public Policy Building
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Director / Cinematography / Editing: Jian Yi
Length: 160 minutes
Instant fame or eternal obscurity? A story of young women struggling to live up to their dreams in the summer of 2006
This is the first independent documentary on a veritable cultural phenonemon: the TV show Super Girls Singing Contest, which for two short years was among the most popular programs anywhere and anytime. It drew an audience of around 400 million, who watched--by all accounts, enthralled--80,000 contestants aged 18 to 20 or so compete in a program patterned on American Idol.
By the end of the first season (in 2005) there were rumors the show would be banned. Jian Yi picked up his camera before it was too late. (In fact, the government banned the show after the 2006 season.) Shooting the second season of Super Girls was a window into a society in transition. As Jian Yi explained, "“The film shows the huge changes that have taken place in China. When I was in school, everyone was as poor as me. The difference back then, in the 1970s and 80s, was that status came if there were state officials in your family. Now China is increasingly adopting capitalist values and the two ideas are colliding. The young people in this film are looking to be super-rich and to forge super-connections. There is a new self-confidence about them, and a sense of booming prosperity. That has never existed in China before."
Jian Yi (who was born in Jiangxi in 1975) is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, and of the Beijing Broadcasting Institute (BBI). He started his first job when he got a lecturing position at BBI in 1999. In 2003, he joined the EU-China Training Program on Village Governance as a communication specialist, filmmaker, and photographer. In 2005 he cofounded the China Villagers’ Documentary Project together with filmmaker Wu Wenguang. Jian Yi started his China Dreams documentary series in 2005. Super, Girls! is the first independent documentary on the Super Girl Singing Contest.
Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies