Stranger than Docu-Fiction • 42m
Directed by Yang Mingming • Documentary • 2012 • 43 minutes
Ah-Ming and Yueyue are two out-of-work film school grads living in Beijing who decide to turn the camera on each other and make a film about their lives.
On the surface, FEMALE DIRECTORS is the ultimate documentary for the age of oversharing. Two young women love the camera and record the minutiae of their lives: meals, nasty fights, phone calls. Soon after the camera starts rolling, they discover that both are seeing the same sugar daddy. Recriminations and profane accusations follow. Eventually, the pair, make up, break up with the man they call "short stuff" and go traveling together.
But there is much more to this film. Is it a documentary, mockumentary, or a sly piece of drama? Ah-Ming herself is a fiction-the on-screen persona of Yang Ming Ming, the film's actual director. Deliberately unpolished, FEMALE DIRECTORS highlights rather than obscures the presence of the the camera, as it is dropped on a bed, Ah-Ming and Yueyue jostle over it, or as one or the other implores her counterpart to turn it off.
While it purports to be the true story of two women filming themselves, FEMALE DIRECTORS constantly reminds us of the process that has gone into making it. It is a genre-bending, self-aware piece of experimental filmmaking that bears repeated viewing.
"Yang Mingming's FEMALE DIRECTORS blurs the boundaries between documentary and fiction in a story about two brilliant young art school female graduates using profane vocabulary and talking with supreme confidence about sex, cinema and power."—Art Radar
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