University of Westminster flag

Westminster Forum, 5th Floor, Wells Street Building, University of Westminster, 32/38 Wells Street, London, W1T 3UW

Zhang Bingjian

Director: Zhang Bingjian

Language/Subtitles: Chinese/English

Followed by a discussion with the director

Although Chairman Mao died 35 years ago, he lives on in the form of his
impersonators. This documentary is about two ordinary middle-aged individuals
who make a career out of their physical likeness to Mao. The first, a farmer
from Mao’s hometown, studies at the Beijing Film Academy with his family’s
support and the dream of playing Mao on the big screen. The second, a
housewife, struggles to overcome her husband’s aversion towards her new
career. Through their lives and performances, the film presents trenchant
insights into the legacy of the “Great Helmsman” in today’s China.

Director’s Profile

Born in Shanghai, Zhang Bingjian graduated from the prestigious Beijing Film
Academy majoring in art directing in 1982, and the University of South
Carolina with an MFA degree in visual art in 1993. He currently lives in
Beijing, and his work covers from filmmaking (both feature and documentary) to
contemporary art (such as installation). He belongs to the well-known fifth
generation of Chinese filmmakers.

Zhang Bingjian’s feature film “Suffocation” was produced by the China Film
Group in 2004, starring well-known actor Ge You and actress Qing Hailu. The
film has been shown in many international film festivals such as: Udine Far
East International FF in Italy, Neuchatel International Fantastic FF in
Switzerland, Fukuoka International FF in Japan and Goteborg International FF
in Sweden.

Zhang Bingjian’s first feature-length documentary “Readymade” was an
independent film finished by the end of 2008, and was screened at the Beijing
Independent Film Festival and Singapore International Independent Film
Festival. With the support of the French Embassy in Beijing, “Readymade” was
screened at some prestigious universities in France 2010. It was also
presented by the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam at the World
Expo Shanghai 2010. Last year, Zhang Bingjian was invited by Harvard, Yale,
University of South Carolina, University of California at Santa Cruz and
Stanford to screen “Readymade” in the USA.

All welcome 

Non-University of Westminster attendees please register with Dr Derek Hird

E: [email protected]

For enquiries about the Contemporary China Centre, please contact Professor Harriet Evans

T: 020 7911 5000 ext 7603
E: [email protected]

Contemporary China Centre
Department of Modern and Applied Languages
University of Westminster
309 Regent Street. London, W1B 2UW