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Stonewalling (2023)

Opens on May 19

Director: Huang Ji, Ryuji Otsuka Run Time: 148 min. Release Year: 2022

Starring: Yao Honggui

Country: China
Language: Mandarin

About the film:

Official Selection, 2022 Venice Film Festival
Winner, Best Film, 2023 Hong Kong International Film Festival (Young Cinema Competition)

20 year-old Lynn is told she needs English classes, flight attendant school, and a go getter-attitude. She perseveres along this path of upward mobility until she finds out she’s pregnant. Indecisive and running out of time, she tells her boyfriend she’s had an abortion and instead returns to her feuding parents and their failing clinic to try and figure out (if she can) what’s next.

“‘Stonewalling’ feels utterly present and on the pulse of the question of what it means to be a young woman in modern China”


Built from interviews with college women happy to invest in themselves, observations of a post-Tik Tok China, and their own lived experiences, Stonewalling (2023) is perceptive with meticulous attention to detail. Returning with a now adult Yao Honggui (2017’s Foolish Bird, 2012’s Egg and Stone) opposite the directors’ own parents, husband-and-wife team Huang Ji and Ryuji Otsuka take a look at the new norms of gig-economy, grey markets, MLMs, and hustling in modern-day metropolitan China through the experiences of one ordinary young woman.

About the filmmakers:

Huang Ji was born in Hunan, China in 1984, and studied screenwriting in the Beijing Film Academy. Since her first short film, The Warmth of Orange Peel (2009), she has been focusing on exploring the secrets of women’s inner emotions. Egg And Stone (2012), her debut feature, won the Tiger Award of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, while her sophomore film, The Foolish Bird (2017), was awarded the Special Mention of the Generation 14+ International Jury at Berlinale. She is also the founder and tutor of Around You Film Workshop, which engages in educating the new generation.

Ryuji Otsuka was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1972. He relocated to China in 2005 to work in independent filmmaking, and has since been serving as the cinematographer and producer for all the films directed by Huang Ji. In 2013, he made his first documentary, Beijing Ants, as a solo director. His co-directed The Foolish Bird (2017) won him the Best Artistic Originality Award (DoP) in FIRST International Film Festival. His recent cinematography work includes A Family Tour (2018) and Damp Season (2020).

Stonewalling (2023) is their third feature film together.

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