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Heaven Can Wait

Jingkun Huang & Chenghan Wen

Release year: 2019

Run time: 96 mins

Film type: Documentary


In 2016, Li Jie's 16-year-old daughter was raped and murdered by her classmates in Beijing New Oriental School. In February 2018, she came to Beijing for the interment for her daughter. However, it was found that her daughter's relics were lost at school, and the school refused her access. On the verge of mental and physical collapse, her daughter in heaven has become the driving force for her living.


Director biography

Jingkun Huang is a young film director and cinematographer. Born in Beijing in 1997, his ancestral home is in Kunshan, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. He graduated with a bachelor's degree from Beijing International Studies University and Communication University of China and started shooting short films and documentaries in 2017. In 2019, he completed his first feature-length documentary "Heaven Can Wait" which won “Second runner-up”, featuring in Chinese Doc Competition of the 2nd Hong Kong International Documentary Festival and “Best Feature Length Documentary” in the 17th Youth Vision Awards International Film Festival. In 2021, he began further studies in film production at the Savannah College of Art and Design in the United States, during which he shot several narrative short films. In 2023, he continued his studies in cinematography at Chapman University.
Chenghao Wen is an independent documentary filmmaker, cinematographer and editor, currently a grad student in Cinema Studies department, New York University Tisch School of the Arts. He holds a BFA degree from Communication University of China, majoring in New Media and also a MFA in Film Production. Chenghao’s works are dedicated to wander between non-fictions and fictions, which have been selected or awarded at the Hong Kong International Documentary Festival, Beijing International Film Festival,etc. In the past two years, I have been organizing and curating art (performance art) festivals in Shanghai and Hanoi, Vietnam, and recently I have been interested in non-fiction, sci-fi narrative and live art.

Director's statement

"Heaven is to be expected, and the world is worth it. May 19 marks the seventh year since the tragedy of Jin Yi occurred in 2016. Seven years have passed, and some things have been forgotten while some are still remembered. We still miss it dearly, piecing together this documentary with friends from all over the world, from distant promises. That sincere effort, that heartfelt love. The simplest things are often the most moving. We pursued the truth until the truth became history, and history became a story."
— "Heaven Can Wait" Team, May 18, 2023
"Long time no see. After the pandemic, some things will change, and some will not. Previously, we gathered friends from all over the country into a group, saying that we wanted everyone who wanted to see the film to see it. There have always been people waiting, asking. Thank you for your patience; documentaries shouldn't be this hard. May 19 marks the fourth year since the Jin Yi case occurred. Four years is far from the end for a case and a family. Both those inside and outside the film are growing, living. Images are just a reflection of time; time keeps moving forward. We pursue the truth, the truth behind the truth, until the truth becomes blurred and stays in the process. People have their limitations but also their shining points, which is the most lovable thing about people."
— "Heaven Can Wait" Team, May 15, 2020
"Hello everyone, we are the production team of the documentary 'Heaven Can Wait.' We have some things to say about the screening and the case. The topic of the 'New Oriental Classroom Rape and Murder Civil Lawsuit' on Weibo has passed two weeks, and the revisions and discussions on the Law on the Protection of Minors and the Law on the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency have been ongoing. Last year, when various media interviewed, the last few questions the reporters usually asked Auntie were about what she wanted to do in the future. Auntie always said that she often saw various juvenile crimes in recent years, and it is really hard to understand the behavior of children nowadays. Auntie especially wants to help the families of victims in the ever-emerging juvenile crime cases, just as she often chats with mothers from other cases — she doesn't want them to experience the same struggles and helplessness she did. She wanted to establish an organization to make people focus on juvenile crime. At that time, we felt that Auntie's words were very helpless, and such expectations were very slim. We started filming this documentary in 2018. Being watched is the ultimate meaning of a documentary, and being seen by strangers who care about Auntie is the greatest significance of this documentary. We once thought we couldn't achieve this, but Auntie has persisted until now and finally sees a glimmer of hope. At this moment, we hope the documentary can continue to carry some value of dissemination together with the media and Weibo. Every screening notice, every private message or comment, every individual's support will move Auntie and become her motivation to continue. Jin Yi has been gone for more than three years. Auntie Li's road to seeking justice for her daughter is still long and arduous. We hope the screening of the documentary will let everyone know this tired but strong mother and understand the story behind the case."
— "Heaven Can Wait" Team, November 10, 2019