Peng Xiaolian belongs to the Fifth Generation of filmmakers in China and has to her credit acclaimed works such as Women's Story and Me and My Classmateindia Updated: Oct 11, 2003 02:01 IST
Xiaolian Peng like many others young intellectuals whose fathers held high positions in the Communist Party, at the age of 16 was sent down to the countryside of Fengxin for 're-education' purposes.
In 1978, Xiaolian entered the Beijing Film Academy, joining the movement now called Fifth Generation. Upon graduation, Xiaolian was assigned to Shanghai Film Studio, where she directed her first and much acclaimed film Me and My Classmate (1986).
The success of her debut allowed her to make Women's Story (1988), the script of which was previously rejected by the production company, which some critics claimed to be the first ever women's film in China. It was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Festival de Femmes in Creteil.
Under the sponsorship of the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, Xiaolian went to study production in New York, where she met the Japanese documentary filmmaker Ogawa.
Her friendship with Ogawa was what led her, in response to his widow's request, to complete Ogawa's Manzan Benizaki, 15 years after the director's death. The film was screened in Berlin and Cannes. Jia Zhuang Mei Can Jue (Shanghai Women - 2002) and Shanghai Story are her most recent works.