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The Starving Village

Zou Xueping

Release year: 2010

Run time: 76mins

Film type: Documentary


I was born and raised in the village. Since 2008, I have begun to document my own life, returning little by little to my own village with my camera. This is my second documentary film, and it is fully composed of old people. One woman, nearing 80, is living out the last two years of her life. From when she is still using a cane to walk, to when she becomes paralyzed, she has always relied on others to live life. This is my grandmother. We also see other elderly people from the village, their daily activities, their tales of starvation from 50 years ago. This film rests on these lives: a woman suffering and struggling as she faces oncoming death, and these people who narrate for us the history of rural starvation.


Director biography

Zou Xueping was born in 1985 in Binzhou, Shandong Province, where she returned to shoot two documentaries, including this one. She graduated in 2009 from the China Academy of Fine Arts and was a resident artist at Wu Wenguang’s Caochangdi Workstation. In addition to three documentaries, Zou has written a theatre piece, Family Opposition (2011), and performed with the Living Dance Studio.