MY MOTHER'S RHAPSODY
Release year: 2012
Run time: 105 mins
Film type: Documentary
Tied together by a structure that separates the film into several plays, the director interviews his grandmother and asks her to look back on her 86-year-old life. Rhapsody is filled with great stories, both funny and tragic, as well as some fine storytelling. Along the way, the director also brings in other relatives – not a surprise, since many have appeared in Qiu’s previous documentaries. His father is a regular interviewee, who retells some of the grandmother’s tales in an entirely different light, highlighting the subjective nature of oral history.
Qiu Jiongjiong's experiences growing up have made him something of an eccentric in the art community: he began painting at age two and at age three he began performing local opera (his grandfather was a famous Sichuanese Opera performer). From a young age he dreamed of becoming an artist, and at 18 he left school to pursue this career. In 2007 he completed his first film, Moon Palace, a 100-minute film documenting his father's life.