Filmmaker exposes gay life, pollution in China

Wed Jan 9, 2008 7:52pm EST
 
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By Janine Stein

SINGAPORE (Hollywood Reporter) - Documentary maker Ruby Yang is laying bare some of China's thorniest issues -- HIV/AIDS, tobacco and the ravages of smoking, homosexuality and the environment.

She's doing much of it with the full support of state organizations in China, where censorship remains fierce and authorities are noted more for clamping down on sensitive domestic issues than for exposing them to the world.

Yang's 39-minute Academy Award-winning film, "The Blood of Yingzhou" (2006), funded by the Starr Foundation, tracks a year in the life of AIDS orphans in China's Anhui Province.

She followed that up in November with three public service advertisements promoting condom use, using celebrities like Jackie Chan.

The shorts, produced with the support of the Ministry of Health, were the first condom advertisements to air on state-owned broadcaster China Central Television's national network, CCTV 1.

Next up is a documentary on gay life and the pressures created by China's one-child policy.

"There's a lot of pressure to produce an heir," Yang says. "Many gay men are married and live a double life. They lie to their parents, lie to their wives."

The half-hour film, provisionally called "Double Life," is expected to be completed by May, but Yang is not counting on a public release in China. Instead, she hopes the film will get exposure on the international festival circuit.   Continued...

 
<p>Director Ruby Yang speaks as producer Thomas Lennon (2nd R), UNDP country director Subinay Nandy and actor Pu Cunxin (L) listen during the "Life is Too Good" AIDS awareness launch in Beijing December 6, 2007. Yang is laying bare some of China's thorniest issues -- HIV/AIDS, tobacco and the ravages of smoking, homosexuality and the environment. REUTERS/Claro Cortes</p>