Chinese Horror Film Sparks Discussion About Cultural Communication at HRIFF

Hollywood, Mar 25, 2019 ( – In its 18th year, Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival (HRIFF) is a widely-acclaimed, star-studded event held annually at the heart of Los Angeles, with guests attending such as Pierce Brosnan, Sharon Stone, Hilary Duff, and Harry Dean Stanton.

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Underneath its Hollywood glamour, HRIFF has been a long-standing champion for independent filmmaking. Recently, Chinese filmmaker Yimin Gu’s horror film “English Lessons” sparked meaningful dialogue about cultural communication and Chinese feminism, after its screening at Regal Cinema LA Live.

“English Lessons,” tells the story of Rebecca, an American English tutor at a Chinese household. The film follows Rebecca’s journey to overcome past trauma and cultural differences in order to rescue her 8-year-old student from the student’s abusive father.

After a screening filled with gasps, many of the audiences were still shaken when the film ended. Intrigued by the masks, swords, and origami, they raised questions about the film’s use of cultural symbols. Yimin Gu said, “In my university, a friend of mine was assaulted by her professor. When she told her parents, they asked her if she wore a short skirt. Since then, it has formed in my head an image of a Chinese horror house as a metaphor for the imprisonment of Chinese patriarchy. In this house, all the women are rendered voiceless, merely spectral forms. It makes sense to me to use Chinese cultural symbols in a symbolic house.”

Despite the horror film genre, the film does have a happy ending. Without spoiling the ending, the symbols of cultural communication play a huge part in Rebecca’s successful rescue. Yimin explained that it is a work of faith in the “alliance of women across cultures”.

Having screened in America, UK, and Canada, the controversial film will continue its festival tour both in America and across the seas. How will the different cultures interpret the film’s take on cultural communication and feminism? Yimin said she is very excited to see.

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As the director and the editor of the film, Yimin is the main creative voice of this film. Originally from Shanghai, China, Yimin studied comparative literature in Hong Kong, which started her passion for cultural communication. After Hong Kong, Yimin traveled to Los Angeles to study filmmaking and stayed in the city of lights to pursue her career.

Just finished editing the up and coming feature film “Nineteen Summers”, Yimin is currently working on her own feature “Drifting Clouds”, which tells the story about a Chinese girl and a Japanese-American girl falling in love in Japan.



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Yimin Gu

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Source :Originally from Shanghai, China, Yimin Gu studied comparative literature in Hong Kong, which ignited her passion for cultural communication.

This article was originally published by IssueWire. Read the original article here.

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