January 10, 2017, 7:00 P.M.
The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Outside the Box [Office], The Film Collaborative, and Kino Lorber, invite you and a guest to a special screening of
Written, Directed, and Produced by Nanfu Wang
Co-Written by Mark Monroe
Followed by a Q&A with Nanfu Wang, via Skype
7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, January 10th, 2017
The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108,
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
FREE ADMISSION. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. RSVPs REQUIRED.
Shortlisted for Best Documentary Feature at the 2017 Academy Awards.
Official Selection: Sundance Film Festival 2016; Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2016; HotDocs International Documentary Film Festival 2016; Human Rights Watch International Film Festival 2016.
Now Available on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and Netflix.
About Hooligan Sparrow
The danger is palpable as intrepid young filmmaker Nanfu Wang follows maverick activist Ye Haiyan (a.k.a Hooligan Sparrow) and her band of colleagues to Hainan Province in southern China, to protest the case of six elementary school girls who were sexually abused by their principal. Marked as enemies of the state, the activists are under constant government surveillance and face interrogation, harassment, and imprisonment. Sparrow, who gained notoriety with her advocacy work for sex workers’ rights, continues to champion girls’ and women’s rights and arms herself with the power and reach of social media.
Filmmaker Wang becomes a target along with Sparrow, as she faces destroyed cameras and intimidation. Yet she bravely and tenaciously keeps shooting, guerrilla-style, with secret recording devices and hidden-camera glasses, and in the process, she exposes a startling number of undercover security agents on the streets. Eventually, through smuggling footage out of the country, Wang is able tell the story of her journey with the extraordinary revolutionary Sparrow, her fellow activists, and their seemingly impossible battle for human rights.
Provided courtesy of The Film Collaborative and Kino Lorber. Not rated. Running time: 84 minutes.
I first heard about Ye Haiyan (who is known more widely by her nickname, Hooligan Sparrow, in China) a few years ago when I read an article online about a Chinese woman who was offering to work as a sex worker – for free. I’ve lived in China most of my life, and I’ve always been interested in issues related to sex workers’ rights, so I was curious to learn more about this woman and what motivated her.
The brothel where she offered to work was one of thousands across China known as “Ten Yuan Brothel,” which are frequented by the poorest of China’s migrant laborers. The brothels take their name from the average price of a visit with one of their working girls – ten yuan, or about two dollars.
Sparrow had a long history of advocating for women’s rights in China, and her offer of free sex in the Ten Yuan Brothel stemmed from a desire to expose the terrible working conditions in the brothel and also the desperate lives of the migrant workers who visited them.
As I researched Sparrow, I learned that like me, she came from a poor farming village with limited access to education. I appreciated her respect for people whom Chinese society rejected, and I shared her desire to understand their lives more deeply. I reached out to her via e-mail in early 2013 to see if she’d be willing to let me film her as part of a larger video project about sex workers in China. She replied, “When you’re in China, we’ll talk.”
On May 14th , 2013, I returned to China from the U.S where I had lived for two years at the time. When I landed and got a hold of her, she was in the midst of preparing for a public protest with a number of other activists. Two government officials in southern China had taken six schoolgirls to a hotel for a night, and the local government seemed poised to hand down a perfunctory sentence. Sparrow and her fellow activists wanted justice to be served for the girls and their families, so they planned to stage a public demonstration denouncing the government and the officials, a move that could land all of them in prison.
I knew at this moment that the story I set out to tell – the story of the lives of sex workers and Ten Yuan Brothels – had changed. I asked Sparrow and the other activists if I could follow them and record what happened at the protest. They agreed.
The chain of events I witnessed in the months that followed the protest shocked me. I’ve never had illusions about fairness in China’s justice system or the accountability of its government. But I never expected to see ordinary people turn on their neighbors who were fighting for their rights. I never expected to be attacked by screaming mobs just for filming on the street. I never expected to be interrogated by national security agents, and that my family and friends would be harassed and threatened by secret police.
But this is the China I saw.
-- Nanfu Wang
About the Guest (via Skype)
NANFU WANG (Director, Producer, Cinematographer & Editor)
Nanfu Wang is an independent filmmaker based in New York City. Wang was born in a remote farming village in Jiangxi Province, China. After losing her father at the age of 12, Wang was forced to forgo formal education and take whatever work she could to support her family. Unable to afford high school, she studied at a vocational school until she secured work as a teacher at a primary school at the age of 16, teaching herself English during her spare time.
After several years of working, Wang was admitted to a university’s Continuing Education Program, where she studied English literature. At the age of 22, she was awarded a full fellowship to attend a graduate program in English Language and Literature at Shanghai University. Realizing that she wanted to help tell the stories of people who came from backgrounds like hers, Wang decided to pursue graduate film studies, first in the journalism school at Ohio University and later at New York University’s documentary program. Wang holds three master degrees from New York University, Ohio University, and Shanghai University.
Since completing her studies, Wang has produced short films that have been distributed on many platforms and translated into several languages. Her work often features the stories of marginalized or mistreated people. Wang continues to seek out and tell the stories of people who have been ignored by their societies.
Hooligan Sparrow is Wang’s feature debut. Wang is a recipient of the Sundance Documentary Fund and Bertha Britdoc Journalism Fund, and a Sundance and IFP supported filmmaker.
About Outside the Box [Office]
Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain.
To view the calendar of screenings, click here.
Check-In & Reservations
This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.
All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.
The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $12.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Ave. We recommend Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.
Name: Alessandro Ago