Filmmaker in Person
After a career as a photojournalist for China’s national news group, Xinhua News Agency, and the influential newspaper Southern Weekly, Zhou Hao applied his keen eye and reporting acumen to documentary filmmaking. For the last fifteen years Zhou has consistently honed his direct observational style with each successive documentary, six in total. Zhou’s films are informative without being didactic and his respect for the subjects of his films, coupled with his generosity of spirit, guarantee that what we see on screen is touchingly candid. In 2015 the Sundance Film Festival awarded Zhou’s The Chinese Mayor the special jury prize for Unparalleled Access. The aptly titled award describes a quality shared by all of Zhou’s works, which examine the impact of massive social and economic changes in China. His first film to achieve international acclaim was Senior Year, an award-winning portrayal of a class of high school students from rural backgrounds struggling to prepare for the highly competitive national university entrance exam. In the five films that have followed, Zhou has documented the lives of drug addicts, migrant laborers, emergency room workers and patients, politicians, cotton farmers, and cops. Each of these films exposes some element of China’s most pressing social issues.
BAMPFA is thrilled that Zhou Hao will make the journey to Berkeley to present his documentaries in person and to discuss his work with Rachel Stern, assistant professor of law and political science at UC Berkeley.
Kate MacKay, Associate Film Curator