Cry Woman

Cry Woman


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Chinese cinema has moved on from the quiet desperation of rural poverty to a more strident urban independence.

With its lack of sentimentality, Cry Woman breaks the mould of beautiful looking, nostalgic filmmaking. It shouts out loud and won't conform to stereotype.

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Wang (Liao Qin) is not so much the heroine of the script as a thorn in its side. She is saying, without uttering the words, "I will NOT be a victim."

Her husband is a gambler and a drinker. He's also unemployed - "In today's world, men aren't worth very much". She makes money looking after other people's kids, which she has no aptitude for, because she doesn't care for them, and selling bootleg CDs and DVDs - she keeps hardcore porn inside her coat for those special clients - on the street. When the cops arrest her, they confiscate the goods, keeping the best for themselves, and let her off with a caution.

This is a story of survival and initiative. Wang is admirable in her refusal to give in to despair, or drugs, but she is no angel. She's a hustler. When she discovers the crying game, she's onto it like a flash. All she has to do is go to funerals and wail imaginatively. The better she fakes it, the bigger the tips.

Bingjian Liu's film has an energy more associated with the work of Taiwan directors. Kiao Qin's performance is biting. She's not asking to be loved. She's asking for respect.

She's got it.

Reviewed on: 04 Aug 2002
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Tough girl hustles work in China and discovers she has talent as a professional wailer at funerals.

Director: Bingjian Liu

Writer: Ja Deng, Bingjian Liu

Starring: Liao Qin, Wei Xingkun, Zhu Jiayue, Li Longjun, Wen Ging

Year: 2002

Runtime: 91 minutes

Country: China


EIFF 2002

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