09 20 Oct '24
6e22962b e81c 43df a2be 38bdf6312107

Wang Bing

Man in Black

Edition 2023
60' - 2023 - Documentary - Dialogue: Mandarin
Director: Wang Bing With: Xilin Wang
Contrary to what you may expect with a title like Man in Black, this is not a film about Johnny Cash. Instead, it focuses on another musical genius, Chinese contemporary composer Wang Xilin.
An old man slowly strolls through a theatre that is largely shrouded in darkness. Only after a while do we discover that he is naked. Eventually he steps onto the sage, the camera circling around him, finally ending up on his face on which the traces of a hard life are visible. Wang Xilin, 86 at the time of filming, is currently one of China's most acclaimed composers. Although he joined the People's Liberation Army at 13, he was later spit out by the Communist Party. During the Cultural Revolution, he was tortured but survived. For Wang Bing, one of the most important documentarians of this century, Man in Black is atypical. Here, we are no fly-on-the-wall but a witness of a highly stylised formal language. Surprising, albeit as penetrating, as Wang's other, more 'classic' film on the programme, Youth (Spring).
“86-year-old Chinese composer Wang Xilin uses his naked body and his life story as eloquent vessels of protest art in this extraordinary, achingly beautiful hour-long film. He endured 14 years of persecution - including beatings and torture - after falling out of favor with the Chinese Communist Party.” - Variety

Image gallery

6e22962b e81c 43df a2be 38bdf6312107
5ddfb10c 5efc 42ab a142 be3dc3b2bfa8
70000e88 4b15 4adf a9f3 2e8b631e0676
84a16e50 7a34 44c7 a95f 54c61ef047f1
91001a86 0774 4865 b9ba fbe27c4252f7

Credits

Director

Wang Bing

With

Xilin Wang

Director of Photography

Caroline Champetier

Editor

Claire Atherton

Producer

K. Lihong, Sonia Buchman, Nicolas R. de la Mothe

Production studios

Gladys Glover

More information

Dialogue

Mandarin

Countries of production

United States of America, United Kingdom, France

Year

2023

Filmography

Wang Bing
Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks (1999-2003), Brutality Factory (short, 2007), Fengming, A Chinese Memoir (2007), Crude Oil (2008), Coal Money (short, 2008), Xi yang tang (short, 2009), Man with No Name (2010), The Ditch (2010), Three Sisters (2012), Alone (2013), Venice 70: Future Reloaded (2013), 'Til Madness Do Us Part (2013), Father and Son (2014), Traces (short, 2014), Ta'ang (2016), Bitter Money (2016), Mrs. Fang (2017), Dead Souls (2018), Youth (Spring) (2023), Man in Black (2023)

Stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter

Do you want to stay up to date with festival news, our year-round activities, the films and the filmmakers?