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A Peking Opera Master in New York

Guo Haitao

Release year: 2016

Run time: 58 min

Film type: Documentary


Mr. Fang Yuling is a 65-year-old Peking Opera master who witnessed the rise and fall of Peking Opera, the greatest classic performing art in Chinese theatre. Crushed by Mao's Cultural Revolution and the social changes in modern China, the great tradition of passing on this art from master to pupil is being lost. Now living in exile in New York and feeling his skill diminish with age, Fang Yuling staged an opera on June 24th, 2012. Though he knew his cast was amateurish, he used all his skills and charisma to inspire them to commit to the performance. Even this rough approximation of the real opera made him feel like a star again. He could not help but put his heart and soul into it. Though he knows the world he was trained in as a boy will soon be lost, he fought with honour and integrity to fulfil his life-long mission to perform an opera in New York.


Director biography

Guo Haitao received his MFA from Temple University in Philadelphia. His first feature documentary, David and Patricia, was officially selected for the 14th Mumbai Film Festival (MFF), the 2012 Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival (GIDFF) and the 10th Beijing Independent Film Festival (BIFF, Beijing, 2013). It was awarded “One of the Best Ten Documentary Films of the Year” at the 9th China Independent Film Festival (CIFF, 2012). His short documentary Lao Tang was officially selected for the 2013 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and the 2014 Love Your Shorts Film Festival in Florida. It was nominated as best documentary film at the 2013 Diamond Film Festival in Philadelphia. His short narrative film Mother and Daughter was officially selected for the NextFrame International Student Film Festival and the 10th Beijing Independent Film Festival. Guo is a recipient of the Robert Flaherty Fellowship.