HomeAll FilmsThemesGenresDirectorsAboutContactTeam中文版

Li Yu 李玉

Li Yu (b. Jinan, Shandong Province, 1973) is one of China's best-known female directors. She began her career in film and television at a very young age working as a local TV presenter in Shandong, before moving on to become a television director and screenwriter with China Central Television. Her early films for television were all documentaries, but in 2001 she embarked on a new, high-risk caree...

Li Yu (b. Jinan, Shandong Province, 1973) is one of China's best-known female directors. She began her career in film and television at a very young age working as a local TV presenter in Shandong, before moving on to become a television director and screenwriter with China Central Television. Her early films for television were all documentaries, but in 2001 she embarked on a new, high-risk career as an independent feature film-maker with Fish and Elephant, a highly personal and largely self-funded project regarded as China's first explicitly lesbian movie. However, Li Yu decided to make this film as part of a much broader interest in depicting the condition of women of all kinds in China today, not only lesbians, from a broadly feminist standpoint, and this wider interest is apparent in several of her subsequent films, notably Dam Street (2005), Lost in Beijing (2007) and Ever Since We Love (2015), all of which feature heterosexual women from very different backgrounds in leading roles. Moreover, beginning in 2007 with Lost in Beijing, Li Yu has also established a close collaboration with Fan Bingbing, one of China's best-known models and actresses, whose participation has greatly enhanced the box office appeal of her more recent films.
Although not normally associated with the Chinese 'New Documentary' movement of the 1990s and 2000s, Li Yu's fiction films, notably Fish and Elephant, employ many of the same techniques as independent Chinese documentaries of this time, including the use of non-professional actors in leading roles, the use of unmodified locations and natural lighting and ambient sound effects, and a mix of raw hand-held camera footage and fixed camera positions with long takes. All these serve to highlight her ongoing interest in contemporary and predominantly urban Chinese social reality, and especially in the key insights into this social reality provided by the rapidly changing but still precarious and conflicted lives of modern Chinese women.

Show more

Movies by Li Yu 李玉