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Self Portrait: Sphinx at 47 KM

Zhang Mengqi

Release year: 2017

Run time: 93 mins

Film type: Documentary


This is the seventh film in my “Self-Portrait” series.

In the opening shot, we see a wall on which is written a political slogan. Because of rain and a courtyard door, this slogan has become a fill-in-the-blank question: “Only ____ism Can Save China.” The resident of the house fills in the blank while she tells us the story of her deceased son. Meanwhile, in the same village, 14-year-old girl Fanghong paints her dreams on the wall of her house.

The slogan wall and the dream wall become the landscape of this village. Are they posing a question? Or are they offering an answer? It is like the great riddle of the Sphinx.


Director biography

Zhang Mengqi was born in 1987. She graduated from the Dance Academy of China’s Minorities University in 2008. Since 2009, she has been a resident artist at CCD Workstation. She makes documentary films: Self-portrait with Three Women (2010), Self-Portrait: At 47 KM (2011), Self-portrait: Dancing at 47 KM (2012), Self-portrait: Dreaming at 47 km (2013), Self-portrait: Bridging at 47 KM (2014), Self-portrait: Dying at 47 KM (2015), Self-portrait: Born in 47 KM (2016), and Self-portrait: Sphinx in 47 KM (2017), her “Self-Portrait” series.