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Searching for Lin Zhao’s Soul

Hu Jie

Release year: 2005

Run time: 115 mins

Film type: Documentary


This film tells the story of Lin Zhao, a Beijing University student who was among the first to openly oppose the government after 1949. During the Red Terror, she developed from a loyal follower into a valiant rebel. She was imprisoned for eight years and, though deprived of pen and paper, left hundreds of thousands of words written in her own blood. At a struggle meeting on April 29th, 1968, she was gagged and later killed in secret. The location and manner of her death are still unknown. In this film, the director seeks out Lin Zhao’s former colleagues and classmates, and others who knew her, while also recording his own journey in search of her soul.


Director biography

Hu Jie is an independent historian, artist, and filmmaker. Born in Jinan, Shandong in 1958, he graduated from the Art College of the People’s Liberation Army. He works in oils and woodcuts from his lakeside studio in Nanjing. His films are among the most important documents of China’s unacknowledged “unoffcial history”, and include Looking for Lin Zhao’s Soul (2005), about a martyr-poet critic of Mao; and Though I Am Gone (2007), about an elite Beijing girls’ high school whose students murdered their headmaster at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.