13-24 nov 2024
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Man in Black

Man in Black

黑衣人
Wang Bing
France, United States, United Kingdom
2023
61 min
Dutch Premiere
Retrospective: Wang Bing
Synopsis

The 86-year-old Xilin Wang, one of China’s most important modern classical composers, lays himself bare. Not just physically—he enters the exquisitely lit stage of the Parisian Théâtre des Bouffes completely naked—but also emotionally. Even more than his body and voice, it is Wang’s music that speaks loudest in this documentary. He is regularly drowned out by the menacing, dramatic, chaotic sounds.

Wang was a promising student at the Shanghai Conservatory, where he was taught that “to compose music, first and foremost you need correct thought and a knowledge of Marxism-Leninism.” But in the early 1960s, Wang broke with Communist Party doctrine. It was a decision that would mark him for the rest of his life.

Both physically and mentally, he bears the scars of repression and torture, bearing witness to the dehumanization of an entire country. More than 60 years later, as an exile in Germany, he still has nightmares about the violence he endured in his twenties.

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Credits
61 min
color
DCP
Spoken languages: Chinese
Director
    Wang Bing
    Wang Bing
Production
    Lihong Kong for Wil Productions,
    Sonia Buchman,
    Nicolas R. De La Mothe for Gladys Glover Films
    Lihong Kong for Wil Productions,
    Sonia Buchman,
    Nicolas R. De La Mothe for Gladys Glover Films
Cinematography
    Caroline Champetier
    Caroline Champetier
Editing
    Claire Atherton
    Claire Atherton
Sound
    Erwan Kerzanet,
    Emmanuel Soland
    Erwan Kerzanet,
    Emmanuel Soland
World Sales
    Asian Shadows
    Asian Shadows
Screening copy
    Asian Shadows
    Asian Shadows

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More from the program section Retrospective: Wang Bing
In tribute to our Guest of Honor, IDFA presents six films directed by Wang Bing from 2002 to today. An uncompromising voice of present-day Chinese filmmaking, his work fearlessly chronicles socioeconomic transformations and challenging labor conditions in China.
View program section
Alone

Alone

Wang Bing
2012
89 min