Documentary filmmaker to discuss China

Documentary filmmaker Carma Hinton, a leading chronicler of China, will present a workshop at Bates College about Western views of China’s one-child policy and the status of Chinese women at 4:10 p.m. Thursday, March 2, in the Keck Classroom (G52) in Pettengill Hall, 4 Andrews Road. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

Prior to her visit, several of Hinton’s films will be shown in the Keck Classroom. Small Happiness, focusing on the lives of women in China, and China’s Only Child will be shown at 4:10 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28. The Dying Rooms, about the conditions of Shanghai orphanages and Good Fortune, about successful adoptions of Chinese infants by American families, will be shown at 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 29. These, too, are open to the public and free of charge.

Hinton has produced and directed Hong Kong on Stage (1997), a short film about an avant-garde theater group in Hong Kong on the eve of the 1997 transfer of sovereignty to China and The Gate of Heavenly Peace (1995), a three-hour film about the 1989 Chinese democracy movement. She also has produced and directed Abode of Illusion (1992), First Moon (1991), Stilt Dancers (1981) and One Village in China (1987), a three-part series that includes Small Happiness, To Taste A Hundred Herbs and All Under Heaven. Hinton also produced Acrobats (1997), Chinese Environmental Film Project (1994) and Little Plum (1994).

The Boston Globe described Small Happiness, a hit at the 1985 New Directors/New Films festival at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as a film that “fills the screen with things that are new, illuminating, startling and rooted in humanity.” At the close of this film, Hinton narrates: “As long as a woman must leave her own family, marry into a man’s household and continue his family line, she will be considered a small happiness from the day she is born.”

Hinton’s films have appeared at festivals throughout the world and garnered various prizes. The Gate of Heavenly Peace received the George Foster Peabody Award, the International Critics Prize and the Best Social and Political Documentary Award at the Banff Film Festival.

Hinton has lectured on China and film at MIT and Wellesley and taught Chinese language at Swarthmore. She received a bachelor’s degree in Oriental studies from the University of Pennsylvania and is a doctoral candidate in Chinese art history at Harvard.

View Comments