Born in Beijing in 1959, Ning Ying attended the Beijing Film Academy alongside filmmakers like Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou, but her small-scale, naturalistic, dryly funny studies of contemporary life set her apart from the directors of the Fifth Generation. In the 1980s, Ning studied at Italy’s Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia; there she met Bernardo Bertolucci, who employed her as assistant director on The Last Emperor (1987). Returning to China after six years in the West, Ning observed her native country with a distanced and ironic yet affectionate eye. Her Beijing Trilogy—For Fun (1992), On the Beat (1995), and I Love Beijing (2001)—is “a visual memory about this social moment,” a portrait of three generations of ordinary urbanites during the decade of change that followed the economic reforms of 1991.
Ning Ying is an artist in residence at the Pacific Film Archive this fall, appearing in person to discuss her films and offering a master class on October 27. This series is presented in conjunction with the BAM exhibition Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection.
I Love Beijing: The Films of Ning Ying
October 23 – October 27
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
2625 Durant Avenue #2250
Berkeley, CA 94720-2250