Posts Tagged ‘black and white milk cow’

Now Available: Yang Jin’s Award Winning The Black and White Milk Cow

Monday, January 31st, 2011

We’re pleased to announce that The Black and White Milk Cow, the award-winning debut film by Yang Jin (Er Dong), is now available through our catalog. Description, awards and a trailer can be found below. Also be sure to read an exclusive interview with Yang Jin.

The Black and White Milk Cow

YANG Jin. China, 2004. Narrative, 93 min.

Shanxi dialect w/ English subtitles.

A young schoolteacher unknowingly enters a tangled web of politics in Yang Jin’s unsentimental dissection of the Chinese countryside.

When his father dies from AIDS following a botched blood transfer, Jinsheng must return to his home village to take care of his aging grandmother. Taking on the role of a schoolteacher in this barren village, Jinsheng is given a milk cow for his salary in place of money. On behalf of his students, the young man cunningly uses the cow to gain influence within this poor community dominated by stifling bureaucratic governance and backward feudal customs. Will Jinsheng’s unexpected rise to power be crushed within this oppressive environment, or will he find his way back out?

Shot on a micro-budget with remarkable black-and-white compositions, this debut film by Yang Jin (ER DONG, 2009 Rotterdam Film Festival), is a bold look at the starkly limited prospects for youth stranded in China’s poorest regions. The film depicts a rural landscape left behind by China’s urban growth, blighted by poverty and HIV, still a taboo topic in China. THE BLACK AND WHITE MILK COW offers one of the most thoughtful considerations of social commitment and individual responsibility in contemporary Chinese cinema.


Interview with Yang Jin, Director of The Black and White Milk Cow and Er Dong

Monday, January 31st, 2011

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

Yang Jin, director of The Black and White Milk Cow and Er Dong

In this interview originally published on, director Yang Jin talks about the making of The Black and White Milk Cow (available through the dGenerate catalog). Yang discusses how he found his actors and how he worked with them. He also mentions his filming experiences, which include what he did to transition from one scene to the next, how he worked around his tight budget, as well as his experience with working with a script. He says that in Er Dong, he used a different approach, which was that he didn’t follow the script very strictly but filmed extra footage that could be used in the editing afterwards.

Translated by Isabella Tianzi Cai.

Q: May I ask what made you want to make The Black and White Milk Cow?

Yang: When I was still in school, my class did an exercise on making tragic stories. The requirement of the exercise was such as we needed to throw all tragic elements at one single character. I had read Chinese writer Wang Xin’s novella “The Black and White Milk Cow” at that point, and I considered the main character in Wang’s story extraordinarily tragic.

Q: So can we say that this film is a tragedy?

Yang: Yes.

Q: When did you shoot it?
Yang: I started it in the summer of 2004 and completed it at the end of that year.

Q: Were you still in school?
Yang: That’s right.

Q: Where did you shoot it?
Yang: I shot it in my hometown Caochuan county, which is in Pinglu, Shanxi. A few scenes were shot in the urban area of Pinglu, outside Caochuan.

Q: Why did you choose this place?
Yang: I had a small budget. Being able to shoot in my hometown saved me a lot of money. I didn’t need to pay my crew, neither for lodging. I am very familiar with the place. It is where my grandmother grew up. I have been there as a child. And I remember that there was a school in the village. Unfortunately when I started shooting the film, the school was gone. A family lived on the compound then. And we filmed there.


MEET THE FILMMAKERS: Yang Jin at Apple Store Xidan Joy City, Beijing – November 2

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Film Director Yang Jin

dGenerate Films and the Apple Store in Beijing continue their ongoing series showcasing China’s newest filmmakers powered by digital technology. Next Tuesday, November 2, acclaimed digital filmmaker Yang Jin will show clips from his films and discuss his creative process.

Yang Jin’s talk is part of the series “Meet the Filmmakers,” a collaboration between the Apple Store in Beijing and dGenerate Films. Digital tools, from digital video cameras to editing software, have placed filmmaking in the hands of the people. This series introduces award-winning directors discuss with the general public how they use digital technology to create their latest movies, attracting worldwide attention and acclaim.

Read news coverage of the inaugural “Meet the Filmmakers” events, and watch video from previous Apple Store talks with filmmakers Cui Zi’en, Jian Yi and Peng Tao.

Corrected: This event will be held at the Apple Store in Xidan Joy City (NOT Sanlitun), Beijing, starting at 7pm.

Address: North Street, Xicheng District, Beijing Xidan Joy City. Phone: 131(8610) 6649-1400

Yang Jin was born in 1982 in Shanxi. In 2000, he enrolled in the Shanxi Film School’s photography program. In 2003, he enrolled in the College of Art And Communication at Beijing Normal University, where he majored in directing. He made a few of documentaries and some short feature films during his time there. Yang’s first film The Black and White Milk Cow (2004) won the Ecumenical Jury Award and FICC Jury/Don Quijote Prize of the International Federation of Film Societies at the 19th Fribourg International Film Festival. His second feature Er Dong screened at the Pusan, Rotterdam and Hong Kong Film Festivals.