Searching For Lin Zhao’s Soul (Xun Zhao Lin Zhao De Ling Hun)

Hu Jie. China, 2004. Documentary, 115 minutes.
Mandarin with English subtitles.

“Lin Zhao’s story is about modern China’s conscience and soul.” Robert Marquand, Christian Science Monitor

This landmark documentary reveals the tragic life of a gifted young woman who was executed for speaking out during the height of Chairman Mao’s rule.

Lin Zhao, a top student from Peking University, was imprisoned for defending students and leaders persecuted during Mao Zedong’s Anti-Rightist Movement in the late 1950s. A gifted writer, Lin composed endless articles and poems from her cell. Forbidden to use pens, she wrote with a hairpin dipped in her own blood. In 1968 she was executed, her tragic life lost to the margins of history. Four decades later, filmmaker Hu Jie brings Lin’s story to light and uncovers the details of this forgotten woman’s fight for civil rights. .

Searching for Lin Zhao’s Soul stands as a landmark in the Chinese independent documentary movement, an unprecedented work of investigation and recovery of modern China’s suppressed memories. Director Hu Jie digs through artifacts and interviews first-hand witnesses to Lin’s persecution, illuminating an era of political terror that sent millions to their deaths. The result is a lasting testament to a young woman’s legacy of courage and conviction. In the words of Chinese writer Ran Yunfei, “Lin Zhao is the spiritual resource for all Chinese people and the legacy for the whole world.”

Director’s Bio:

Hu Jie

Reviews:

Real Time Arts

The Washington Post

Senses of Cinema

Christian Science Monitor

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