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Private Detective

Pan Zhiqi

Release year: 2009

Run time: 47 mins

Film type: Documentary


In the early 1990s, the private detective profession quietly emerged in various cities in China. They generally help people to investigate extra-marital affairs as the main business. Due to the strict control of the Chinese state law on the right to investigate, the private detective industry is morally and legally controversial.  

Lao Fang is an early veteran detective. He wanders the edge of the law, shuttling around the city, investigating extra-marital affairs for people, and tracking evidence. Through the real record of Lao Fang and the clients who seek Lao Fang's investigation, the film shows the modern society of rapid economic development, and various difficulties in marriage and emotions that people face.


Director biography

He is documentary filmmaker and Associate Professor at Zhejiang University of Media and Communications. He obtained a Bachelors degree at Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts and a Masters degree at the Beijing Film Academy. His works tackle the struggles of ordinary people in the context of a rapidly urbanising China. They include Private Detective, Lost Wall, 24th Street and Paradise Garden (in production). His recent documentary films are co-produced by NHK, KBS, PTS and Mediacorp.