Hu Jie is an independent historian, artist, and filmmaker. Born in Jinan, Shandong in 1958, he graduated from the Art College of the People’s Liberation Army. He works in oils and woodcuts from his lakeside studio in Nanjing. His films are among the most important documents of China’s unacknowledged “unofficial history”, and include Searching for Lin Zhao’s Soul (2005), about a martyr-poet critic of Mao, and Spark (2019), which is about the horrific realities of The Great Leap Forward and a short-lived magazine that tried to write about it at the time.
Hu Jie was also the subject of Rita Andreetti's documentary, The Observer. Called "a low-key, endearing profile" by the New York Times, it shows how he manages to keep moving forward while the government attempts to censor his art.
The East Wind State Farm
Directed by HU Jie • Documentary • 2009 • 101 minutes
Condemned "Rightists," sentenced to 21 years of thought reform in the countryside, share harrowing first-person accounts of life in a Chinese labor camp.
In 1957, 200 teachers, students, and cadres were labeled as "Rightists" for voicing cri...
Directed by Rita Andreetti • Documentary • 2019 • 78 minutes
In August 2014, the 11th Beijing Independant Film Festival was shut down after repeated threats from local authorities. The government wouldn't tolerate the screening of some 'sensitive' works, particularly a historical documentary cal...
Directed by Hu Jie • Documentary • 2019 • 114 minutes
SPARK opens by the side of a road in Lanzhou City, northwestern China, as trucks rumble through a blasted hillside. An elderly man walks along the dusty road and pauses to point to a nearby spot—the former execution grounds. “They executed ma...