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Drifting Dust

Wang Shiqing

Release year: 2002

Run time: 50 mins

Film type: Documentary


In 1983, aged 17, Tang Jiarong, from Mianyang in Sichuan Province, was sold as a wife by a human trader. Her “husband”, Mao Heduo, an illiterate peasant, was 12 years older than her and lived in Shen County, Shandong Province.

Some 15 years later, not content with her life in a traditional rural environment, she moved to Beijing to look for part-time work. She first washed bowls and plates, then sold small goods. In 2000, she came across Wang Zengfu, who came from Jiangsu Province. Mr. Wang taught her how to identify different flowers and buy good specimens in the flower market. They moved in together and made a living selling flowers, with one pushing a trolley and the other riding a bicycle. As they did not have a legal license, sometimes they would be caught by the police and all their goods would be confiscated.

However, Tang Jiarong always thought this life was temporary and she would not stay with Wang Zengfu forever, because she already had her husband and a son. She was looking forward to bringing them to Beijing. Unfortunately, they never had a proper marriage certificate.


Director biography

Wang Shiqing is a cinematographer and independent filmmaker based in Beijing. A graduate of the Beijing Film Academy, he has been the director of photography on over 120 productions ranging from TV dramas and music videos to commercials and documentaries. Wang acted as Director of Photography for the multiple-award winning documentary Up the Yangtze, which screened to warm reception in cinemas across Canada and the USA between February and October 2008. The film was listed as part of Canada’s Toronto International Film Festival Top Ten 2007, and was described by the Globe and Mail’s Liam Lacey as “Outstanding … gorgeously shot and as gripping as an epic novel”.

Wang was awarded the prize for Best Cinematography for a Documentary Feature for Up the Yangtze at the 2008 RiverRun International Film Festival in North Carolina. He was also among the nominees for Cinema Eye Honours and the 30th Annual News and Documentary Emmy in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography.

In 2008, Wang Shiqing received certification in recognition of his successful completion of the Asian Film Academy programme over three weeks in Pusan, South Korea, where he shot the short film One Last Goodbye with a Japanese director and other young Asian Film Academy fellows.