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Taishi Village

Ai Xiaoming

Release year: 2005

Run time: 113 mins

Film type: Documentary


In the autumn of 2005, the sale of village land by local officials in Taishi Village, Panyu, Guangzhou, triggered strong discontent among villagers. Hundreds of people signed petitions, demanding the lawful removal of the village chief. Villagers sealed off the village committee's financial office and expressed their demands through peaceful sit-ins. Government authorities deployed police to arrest active participants among the villagers, but the villagers persisted in demanding the initiation of the removal process. Finally, a government task force was dispatched to verify the signatures in the village. The Taishi Village removal incident garnered significant attention from both domestic and foreign media, and it also unsettled the local government. On September 12th, the government sent police to surround Taishi Village and apprehended dozens of villagers who were peacefully protesting at the village committee. Despite facing various forms of suppression, the villagers of Taishi persevered and formed an election committee to democratically remove the village committee director according to their wishes. The government subsequently escalated its efforts, forcing the elected members to withdraw one by one. Amidst the autumn wind and rain, hired enforcers patrolled the village, driving lawyers and journalists out of the village. This film is structured into four parts, each documenting different stages of the events. It records the scenes of the villagers' struggle and the tragic outcome of this grassroots movement, showcasing the burgeoning sense of rights consciousness in rural Guangdong. From this, one can witness the villagers' ability to exercise their right to elect and the government's habitual responses.


Director biography

A feminist professor at Sun Yat-Sen (Zhongshan) University, the Director of the Comparative Literature Section in the Department of Chinese, and the Program Leader of the Sex/Gender Education Forum. She has also worked as a translator and director for the Chinese version of the performance 'The Vagina Monologues.' Additionally, she has collaborated with Hu Jie on documentaries such as 'Taishi Village,' 'Painting for the Revolution - Peasant Paintings from Hu County, China,' 'White Rainbow,' and 'The Vagina Monologues: Stories from China.' The latter was selected for the Women’s Film Festival organized by City University of New York as a side event of the United Nations' 49th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.