“Garden in Heaven” is the name of a memorial website for the date-rape and murder victim Huang Jing. When Huang was found dead, she was naked and had wounds on her body, but the coroner declared illness as the cause of her death. Huang’s mother had her body undergo five autopsies and six inquests. The results of each were different. This film documents a mother’s mourning, as well as her anger toward and resistance against sexual violence in a society that denies legal recourse for such crimes.
The investigations and trials concerning Huang Jing’s murder unfolded over three years. I was involved as both a director and an activist. Through this film, I aspired to write the first page of the history of feminist documentary-making in China.
–Ai Xiaoming and Hu Jie, directors
Ai Xiaoming is an intellectual with a keen focus on women’s rights who has long participated in and documented Chinese citizen actions and the awakening of China’s intellectuals. Garden in Heaven uses several legal cases to analyze the status and rights of women in Chinese society, culture, politics, and law. The film shows intellectuals and NGOs engaging in early civil rights actions. These actions, however, prove to be weak in the face of powerful cultural and political realities.
Language: Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles
Running time: 200 min
Directors: Ai Xiaoming 艾晓明 and Hu Jie 胡杰
Films and schedules may be subject to change.