Release year: 2002
Run time: 91 minutes
Film type: Fiction
Guixiang and her husband, Changgeng, scrape by in Beijing by selling illegal DVDs. Then Changgeng blinds his opponent in a game of mahjong, is jailed, and the authorities send Guixiang back to her home province, Guizhou. Overwhelmed by her problems, Guixiang bursts into tears, causing an old friend to suggest she become a professional mourner at funerals. Soon, Guixiang becomes the most sought-after mourner in the district.
Training first as a painter, Liu Bingjian then studied cinematography at the Beijing Film Academy. After graduation he worked in television before making his first film as a director—Inkstone—which screened neither in China nor overseas.
In 1999 he made the independent LGBTQ film Men and Women, a rare example for the time of a film that treated homosexuality as an everyday condition.
In 2002, Liu made Cry Woman. Then he made the officially approved Plastic Flowers (2004), which starred actress Liu Xiaoqing in her first role in over a decade. The film premiered at the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival.