Hooligan Sparrow – Nanfu Wang in Conversation with Amy Taubin

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Hooligan Sparrow – Nanfu Wang in Conversation with Amy Taubin

– Please welcome Nanfu Wang (audience applause) – Thank you Thank you all for coming on the Friday, rainy night, yeah I’m so happy to see so many people here – I’m sure that people want to ask questions about the film, but I’d kind of like to start with asking Nanfu to tell you about how she got to the United States and to NYU and the Journalism program And what was her path out of rural China – So, I lived my whole life in China until about 11 That’s when I came to the U.S And I was born in a very small remote farming village in China in Jiangsu Province If there are Chinese people here, you would know And my parents, or, my entire family lived in that village for many, many generations And my family was extremely poor in a way that we didn’t have a TV until I was a teenager And especially my dad, he passed away when I was 12 So all of sudden the finance of the family collapsed and my mom told me that I couldn’t continue going to school because I also had a younger brother, he was eight at the time And in that kind of a society they thought, the girl, you don’t have to have much education and all you need to start working and then hopefully find a good husband So I started working when I was 16 And I really wanted to go back to college Especially all my friends, they came back and then told me about high schools and college, which I didn’t have access to And in China if you don’t go to high school, there’s no way for you to go to college ’cause there is a national college exam And so I end up taking, there is a unique system called self-taught program and you can read a list of books and you enroll into the self-taught program exam So I was reading books and then eventually took some exam and got an equivalent bachelor degree But it wasn’t recognized But with that bachelor degree I was able to apply to graduate school and in 2007, I got into Shanghai University, the graduate program to study literature And I that was the first time I went to the big city in Shanghai and the first time I had a computer in my life And I started watching movies And really, I think it blew my mind, all those movies ‘Cause they allowed me to visit places that I couldn’t go physically and allowed me to understand culture and people I’ve never heard of So it was then I started thinking I want to travel to the world I want to see what the world looks like And in 2011 I got into the graduate school in Ohio University and then my major was media studies And that was my first contact with media And literally I started from scratch learning print, TV, radio, advertisement, and also film So after a year studying there and I realize I wanted to do documentary And it was, I remember, it was there that I watched the first documentaries in my life Even though that I watch films in China, the access to documentaries was really limited And when I started seeing documentary films in Ohio I felt like it just blew my mind that, how they could be so compelling Even more compelling sometimes than in fiction films And then I applied to NYU, the one year and a half program to study news and documentary And six months before I graduated, I went back to China trying to make my first film and that was Hooligan Sparrow (audience applause) – And how did you, I mean, how did you know about Sparrow and how did you make contact with her so she agreed this? – Yeah, I knew about her long time ago

from social media and from a lot of coverage on her And I knew that she was so famous of using her own body and nudity to do activism And also I think really what caught my attention was the free sex campaign that she did the free sex for migrant workers And that was then I thought, what kind of woman she was, so brave and also I wasn’t sure really what her purpose was ‘Cause it was a lot of controversy about the coverage on her People criticizing her, people praising her So, when I was going back to China to make a film, at the time I had an idea of making a film about sex workers, especially the poor sex workers who were from rural areas And I contacted her hoping that she would be the person who introduced me to that world, which otherwise I might not get access to Explained, when I called her for the first time from New York, I said I agree with your message that sex work should be legalized and I wanted to do film on those people Would you be willing to introduce me to them? And she said, “Well, come back to China “and we can talk then.” And I returned to China and I called her the first day I got there And she didn’t answer the phone call And I called again and she was evasive She wasn’t willing to tell me anything and she just said that, “I’m not at home “and I don’t know when I will be home “and I cannot promise you anything.” And I asked what she was doing and she couldn’t tell me And I asked well, would you at least tell me where you are? Eventually she told me, “Well, I’m in Guangzhou city.” And it was then, on the phone, I’m quickly said, I’m here too, such a coincidence And then she was surprised and then she said, “Well, since you are here.” I asked if we can meet and she suggested a time the next day And I wasn’t there that time, I was 400 miles away And I took overnight bus to get there the next day And when I finally met her, I found out that she was planning for the protest And that’s why she couldn’t say anything on the phone and she wouldn’t tell me anything And when I learned about the protest, because at the time I had already read so much about the rape case from the media and I knew it was a very controversial and there must be something behind it So I volunteered to go to the protest to find out more – And to prepare for this film about sex workers, what kind of equipment did you take? I mean, to China – I was a poor student so I didn’t have budget, I couldn’t afford anything Most of my equipments I checked out from NYU, ’cause I was still a student there And I had a DSLR camera, it wasn’t even the best DSLR, it was Canon 60D And I didn’t have a tripod, a few lenses, and then an audio recorder, so I went and that’s basically it But at the protest I, gradually I realized how difficult it was to even film And ’cause as soon as I took out the camera then there would be people coming to me So, I started doing research what kind of a hidden camera that was available And if you do a Google, well, in China, Google wasn’t available, so a search on the internet, there was a lot of hidden cameras available And there were pen shaped or watch shaped or button shaped All different kinds, but because it was summer, so it made that even more difficult ’cause I couldn’t wear anything that would draw much attention I didn’t have a place to hide a pen or to wear a watch but constantly raise this level and film So eventually I thought that eyeglasses would be a good idea because at the eye level it would get the best footage from that level And it would be during the least attention I was hoping that you could wear glasses, everybody could wear glasses But, in the thing that you saw that I’ve noticed, actually the police have had training and they have those kind of glasses themselves So, and also it was huge, it was black, huge, so it was quite noticeable – How much footage did you manage to get out – I didn’t lose that much footage

It was only that day in front of the court, and even that day I already anticipated that something would happen because it was the high profile court case and a lot of civilians was there So that morning when I went I knew something was going to happen so I’ve already, at that point, I already had smuggled most of my footage out of China through at different times And that day when I went to film I had to prepare to many, many empty memory cards and I thought about I would film like an hour or half an hour and switch two memory cards and hide the card that has information on it And so if anything happened, the damage would be minimal So eventually when they took my camera, it wasn’t that much footage It was like a few hours of footage, yeah – Then when you came back how long did it take you to edit and what made you decide to start the film at the end of your trip with preparing to meet the authorities – You mean the opening scene? – Yeah – Oh yeah, so I came back, I think on August 25th and then I started editing in September very soon And it took about six months or so to get to a rough cut, but by the time, it wasn’t like full time editing, I was still graduating But when I graduated it was like then I had to find job to survive I was working on two day jobs and then also editing the film at night So worked weekends And in terms of the choice of putting the end, the beginning, was because when I watch movies it was always the kind of non-linear stories that attracted me most I always liked stories that need you to think more and to piece together the story by the end of the film or something like that So I was editing the film And before I edited, I started writing on paper of the sort of like the timeline of the events, what happened over the course of the three months And it turned out the storyline was not linear, and was not one simple storyline There was the story of Sparrow, that she went to the protest and she was evicted, and then this happened to her And then there was the story of the rape case that the parents were silenced and they eventually were the principle were persecuted And then there was the story of media, how traditional media distorted the story And the reporters, they, whether they were silenced too, or they kind of didn’t tell the full story And then the social media, how that challenged the censorship in China And then there’s the story of myself and my family and friends got interrogated and myself too, shows the scale of the civilians, and how far the government would go to silence anybody So it was different stories and how to tell all of those stories and I started thinking it’s really complicated And I wanted people to be able to watch the film and eventually have the full sense of, not a message story, but understand the different levels of complexities And when I was editing and saw through all the footage, and the last day, me being interrogated, it was natural to me that explained, ’cause I lied to them and that kind opened up the full story, that’s how I chose that as an opening – And I’m sure people want to know is Sparrow still living in her family village? And also, you know, there’s been a lot of coverage about the lawyer and what has happened to the lawyer So could you talk a little bit about that – Yeah, Sparrow she moved out of the village because there wasn’t anything she could do to make a living in that village She’s now living in the city And her passport was confiscated by the government in November 2014, so she has been prohibited from travelling since then And even when she travels within China, she would receive phone calls from the local government officials asking where she’s going and what she’s doing And she’s really restricted from doing any on-the-ground campaign activism

But she’s actively speaking out on the internet She writes every other day and she has blog, like a channel that has a huge followers where she writes about social issues, social injustice And lawyer, lawyer Wan Yu’s case was really outrageous She was arrested in July 2015 at her home And at the same day, her husband was taking their son who was 16 year old to the airport, because he was accepted to a univ, to a school, in Austria and was leaving that day And both her husband and then her son were detained at the airport and her son’s passport was taken by the government and still he hasn’t gotten it back yet And while the parents, both the parents, are still in jail, and formally charged with subverting the government, which is a charge what give them anywhere between 15 years in jail or life sentence And their son, the 16 year old boy, now is under house arrest And recently lawyer Yu Wan, ’cause since her arrest there was a lot of campaigning outside of China to trying to get her released And recently she was awarded by the American Bar Association the Human Rights award And the award ceremony was scheduled to be on August 6th And although she couldn’t be there to take the awards, but they are still gonna hold the ceremony But a day before the awards ceremony the Chinese released a videotaped confession of Wan Yu So she was saying on camera that she was guilty and she took foreign support, foreign funds, and foreign forces to subvert the Chinese government And she said “I refuse the help of any international “community and the governments “I refuse this award if the American government “and the American Bar Association insisted on giving me “this award, it’s a validation of my human rights.” So that made it really difficult for any international community to openly campaigning for her freedom, because is her own words, even though that anybody who knows her could tell that she would never speak in that way and that was almost like a robot reading something And after that confession, the government said she was released on bail But so far, nobody could contact her, and nobody knew where she is So her situation is still unknown – Why don’t we open this for questions out here I’m sure people have many questions Anita (muffled voice of woman asking question off microphone) – Actually we’re gonna pass this around – Okay – Can you guys share – Okay, we will share [Technician] Okay you can go – Ai Weiwei is a very good friend of Ye Haiyan’s sparrows They’ve done a lot of activism together And when Sparrow was kidnapped and abandoned along the highway that day, she took a photo and she posted on Twitter and a lot of activist community saw that photo, and Ai Weiwei was one of them And he saw and he called her immediately and asked her what happened and Sparrow told him And he said “What are you gonna do with all those stuff?” And she said she didn’t know She even, she didn’t have even much money to deal with those things And so Ai Weiwei said “I’ll give you money “and why don’t you ship all those belongings “to my studio in Beijing.” And little did we know what he was going to do at the moment It was about, I think, six months later after I came back to the U.S. and I heard that he had asked people who are in his studio to open everything in the suitcases, in the boxes, and took a photo of each item which is about, I think, 6,000 photos, and then put them back and reassemble them to reconstruct the scene along the highway And then that exhibition, the same her belongings, toured around five capital cities in five countries It was in Paris, Tokyo, and New York, London, and another one, I don’t remember, yeah – Someone else? Yeah, yep, oh

– [Female Audience Member] Hi, I just wanted to ask how you’ve finally were able to smuggle your footage out? – Mmm hmm, yeah that was a challenge ’cause I couldn’t ship it So eventually I had to ask my friends and my friend’s friends who were coming to the U.S. either to study or to travel and they took the hard drive with them personally And they took different people a few times to take all the footage out – [Female Audience Member] I have two questions First one, can Nan Wang just talk about Ai Weiwei’s project, ’cause I was wondering what do you think about the purpose of Ai Weiwei to help Sparrow? Because, you know, he took the stuff for his own project It’s not for me, it’s not sounds like a real help And the second question is: do you ever think about playing the film in China? Because I know it’s really hard to play the film in China But the main concern in this film, your focus on like feminism in China So I think the film should be playing in China Do you ever think about that? So I guess the question is what’s your purpose in this film? It’s not only for the film festival, right? – That’s good questions and I’m glad like to hear that from Chinese The first question was Ai Weiwei’s purpose of doing the art exhibition Well I cannot speak for him because I have never talked to him and I have never met him in person and it’s only my assumption So I couldn’t speak for him, but I think it’s like any other kind of art form One of the purpose is to raise awareness Ai Weiwei is well known as really one of the most prominent activist or artists from China that the international community recognize And because what he did people definitely had more awareness about China and the human rights situation in China And then I think in that sense his work about Ye Haiyan’s belongings had definitely raised awareness even though people might not know the full story of that And in terms of what concrete help that achieved, if you ask Ye Haiyan herself, she was appreciative to that because it was at one of the most difficult times of her life that somebody had helped her even though that the thing eventually became art But at the time for her it was a big help And the second question Yeah, of course, I hope the film will be seen in China One thing that really saddened me was information was really restricted in China and my generation or younger, we grew up not knowing what Tiananmen Square protest was, have never heard of it a lot of us And before I made this film, I did not know anything about this I had no idea this was happening, even though that I wasn’t naive, I was aware of the corruption, the censorship But the censorship was an abstract idea, it was not tangible, it wasn’t something that you could see or you could feel And when it’s abstract you don’t know what they censor, and you don’t know why they censor So everything was surprising to me And still the majority of people in China don’t know And when I talked about the film to some of my best friends who are still in China, they would not believe it They would even question what have changed you? You have moved to the U.S. for five years, now you’re really brainwashed by the Western culture Which is the very common racism the Chinese government often say that how the Western media was trying to subvert the Chinese government And for films like this, there was a lot of criticism in China that people rather than re-think what they saw in media was true or not, they question what’s the purpose of the filmmaker to shame China? Was the sponsored by any American or international funders? That’s why they were doing this

And there were a lot of skepticism and cynicism And that’s something that really I think make me more sadder than the violence from the state Because it’s all people I know and I’m friends with And even some of my friends who study in the U.S Which you would assume that they have move access to information and would have an open mind But I think because of the over 20 years of education and a lot of them would say “Why do you have to show “this film outside of China? “If there is a problem within China you should “to the upper level government and solve it “within China rather than create a negative image “of our country.” And a lot of people misunderstood the idea of the government country They think by creating the positive image of the country then you also need to protect the image of the government They equal the two And that’s something, I think, would take a long time for people to change that perception And, yes, I am working on getting the film shown in China As you all noticed, the voiceover is in English That was because when I was making the film and also editing the film, I realized that it would be very difficult to show it, have it shown in China officially and publicly And the only way for Chinese people, even to hear about it, it would be for it to have enough exposure outside of China Then the words would travel back to China and people would hear it from the international media and would be curious what this is about And then they would want to see it, at least there would be a desire, a curiosity And right now we have just made, I have just recorded the Chinese voiceover and made the Chinese version And we’re gonna send the copy back and Chinese people are really good at circulating the film underground And I have hope that they would see it, a lot of people would see it – [Female Audience Member] Hi, I’m a Chinese and I don’t really have a question I just want to say thank you with all my respectful And I’m from really small city too, and I can imagine how hard it can be I’ve learned, already I’ve seen like video footages and learned about all the protects from China like you in long time before And it’s really scary and you know it deserve to all the justice and I just want to say thank you very much – Thank you (audience applauds) – [Male Audience Member] I just, of course, I want to say thank you and right now I’m very interested in the progress and development in terms of activist or feminist activist training in China So what do you have any projection about are there any say groups of people how to be able to say, you know, do a good documentary about things Of course Huang would be an example, but sure – You mean how like filmmakers if the wanted to to make films about activism? And I think like several things First, definitely try to protect yourself and to protect footage There are a lot of filmmakers who are doing films in China that are sensitive And Huang actually is an example He bought his camera and after I left he spent a year travelling across the country and interviewing political prisoners who were released after being in jail for over 20 years from the time of Tiananmen Square protest And he had interviewed 50 people around the entire country and terabytes of footage And one night the police broke into his house and then took not only all the footage, but all his laptop, camera, everything And I think that was very devastating to any filmmaker or anybody who’s trying to spend so much time poured in his heart into there to do that And that was one of my bigs fear when I was making it too Like I’ve, there were times that I was afraid of my personal safety but as long as I had the footage

and I had my camera and I was able to film, somehow I felt like I had the power and I had the weapon and eventually if I show the film, I show the footage, it was my revenge But the fear is if I don’t have that, I’m completely hopeless and felt powerless So I think really protect, learn to protect equipment, footage and also yourself And the other thing is have a strategy When we were in front of the court, Huang and I, the two of us was there And later when we got away and were joking if we had known that was what was going to happen, we would have prepared better We could, for example, I could film from the streets and he could stand across the street far away, and film me and if there is a confrontation between me and the police, he would be capturing it And we could have a third person stationed like somewhere in the building high up, and then if he got in trouble then that person could film that So we were thinking if we had known, have a strategy would help you Like the plan to get out of the place The plan if there is any emergency in how you’re gonna do it – [Female Audience Member] Well first I wanna say how much I greatly admire the work done and all the risks that you took It’s really incredible And I have kind of a naive question, maybe But I’m just wondering if there’s something that we as viewers can now do to support Hooligan Sparrow’s work or put pressure on the government to release the lawyer or what can we do? – A lot of the international community organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have done a lot of work and there were a lot of coverage But right now Chinese government do not respond to the naming and shaming and everything No matter what’s reported they just don’t respond and they ignore which is really frustrating because it’s hard to find an effective way for them to respond But that being said, I think there still should be enough of that kind of naming and shaming and pointing out what they did wrong, especially from the governmental level And if if the government, for example, the U.S. government, could prioritize human rights issues rather than economy when they were dealing the relationship with China then I think the situation would be much better And I have hopes that they could one day would do that But it’s not something that I feel like I know how to push And I wish like the U.S government, the high level, the policy makers, could see the film and they could have the empathy and the compassion towards people in China and address their policy And on a smaller level, I think for us or ordinary people, and that to help them there are several ways One concrete way is we have setup a fund for the kids of human rights activists, for example, Ya Shin and lawyer Wan Yu’s son ‘Cause they are all teenagers but because of their parent’s activism they have been suspended from school multiple times And Ya Shin wasn’t able to go to school And not only that, when they moved to a new city, and Sparrow tried to enroll her to a new city school, the school’s administration would check her name and tell Sparrow “We cannot accept her “and you know the reason better than we do.” So we have no one so powerful that they could tell the school not to take them And my hope is all those kinds that they could get access to education so there is a charitable fund And if you go to hooligansparrow.com you will be able to donate to their education fund And at the same time, you could share the information about the film for more people to see it I think during the Tiananmen Square protest the American public had protested was the U.S. government how they should have a strong policy against China and that worked And if enough American public would tell you government one way or another, human rights issues not only like

in China I think if we ignore what’s happening in China and in many other countries, you cannot enjoy full democracy here too It’s not that much better, is we share more similarities than differences (audience applauds) – [Female Audience Member] Hi Nanfu, thank you so much I applaud you for your bravery And this is the second time I’ve seen this film, because I catched it when it first premiered, and I still get the adrenaline rush, so thank you – Thank you – [Female Audience Member] One question, or one point that I was curious about your film was your decision in filming Hooligan Sparrow’s parents and what is the significance of putting their image in there, because I assume that there would be, you know, safety issues and because you shot quite a bit of the landscape of their hometown as well So I was wondering if they’re okay And if you every worried about that – Well I think there is a misunderstanding China is quite unique Like for example a lot of international organizations would think about protect the privacy of people, human rights defenders for example, and protect the family members, their information But in China, the truth is always the government always knows more than anybody else knows Like they knows every of your family member’s information Whether they work, who you went to college with They know everything And I have had a conversations with activist, and they, for example, before I started filming I had asked they how do you feel about being in the film? And they thought that exposure actually, ironically, kept them safer than not being exposed Because government is able to make anybody disappear overnight, but if the whole world is paying attention to somebody, then it’s much harder for them to make somebody disappear because they then have to make a response And that’s the case with Ai Weiwei too Every move the government does to him, the next day will be on New York Times And that kind of deter the government from doing anything extreme And with Sparrow’s mother, I respected Sparrow’s asked me not to film any more But that like I had is okay to be, for her to be this much, and she said it’s okay And the reason she didn’t want me to film her was because she was afraid that the village people would see that I was filming her mother And ’cause she would let me film within in front of her her house, like really it’s just the area that she moves around But if you, if I go to film her mother, then village the people probably have never seen a camera, have never seen media, they became curious And they ask why you are filming And she also didn’t want me to interview her mom because she was afraid that her mom would know more about her activism and couldn’t understand and would worry And that’s also like the relationship I have with my mom My mom doesn’t know much about this film and she’s hoping like I could go back to China and have to ask me “When are you coming back? “When are you coming back?” And I couldn’t tell her I can’t go back because I’m afraid if I go back I won’t be able to leave or I’m afraid that I just can’t go But I don’t want her to worry about his and I didn’t tell her the film is shown here and there and these are the consequences And we talk about life, we talk about food, and clothes and the basics And that’s true, I think, with a lot of Chinese people They are not participating in politics Yeah – [Technician] (whispers) You had a question? (muffled response)

– [Technician] (laughs) Oh alright, anybody else? – [Female Audience Member] First I want to say thank you again My parents grew up in a like a small rural village and I moved to Canada when I was six So, sorry, I’m just emotional But part of learning about my culture has been like accepting the good parts of the culture but also being skeptical and being aware of the things that happen in the country Like my mom went to the Tiananmen protest but when I was younger she would tell me that they censored it Like people in China don’t know about this thing that happened And for me that was very mind-boggling because I grew up in Canada So as I was saying I guess that like a lot of the reason why people don’t (sound drops out) activism or don’t engage in politics is because they’re busy trying to make a better life for their children, and just like, daily things The I just wanted to say thank you but like the process of learning about a country is like the good parts and the bad parts And I was just wondering like, I was gonna ask if you had been back to China, but also how has the government responded, or have they known that you took this footage, or just anything in response to your work, yeah – Thank you, thank you The government had responded The first response was when Sundance announced the lineup of films, had the press release, so that was the first time officially that the film is finished and people know that there was a film coming out And there was a news segment on CCTV the next day and the anchor was saying “Somebody had made a film “about the Hainan rape case and it will be shown “at the Sundance film festival “And let’s take a look at what is Sundance film festival.” So the anchor pulled out of some images of people standing in the snow looking really cold and miserable And the anchor continued to say that “Sundance film festival “is film festival for independent film makers “with low budget, make shitty films, “that were not really see by people.” Then they continue saying “Let’s take a look at who “Nanfu Wang is and the director.” And they did some search and then the screen show like the action, the search, and there wasn’t much information about me And they were like “We couldn’t even find any previous work” Of course she is like very not known filmmaker And then they then searched the title of the film and there was no trailer, no poster It was part of our strategy at the point not putting anything out And they were like “We couldn’t find any poster “and trailer, of course it’s a shitty film.” And so that was the first, and I found it very amusing And then later as more people saw the film and there were some Chinese audiences Who, like in China we don’t necessarily have Goggle, Facebook, Twitter, or anything But we have Chinese version of anything And there is also Chinese version of IMDB And some audiences went on that website and created a page for the film and wrote reviews And those were deleted like a few days later (audio glitch at footage cut) (laughing) – [Female Audience Member] so lastly I was curious when she was in detainment and the other activists were in her apartment, why did that one activist want your hard drive? – I don’t know Yeah, I don’t know I wasn’t aware of proving anything And that’s also one thing in the activist community, too Because it was very clear that there was certain activists who were paid by the government to monitor their fellow activists and report to the government And a lot of activists knew that because they would have a meeting and talk about things where there are plans and soon the government would find out And sometimes it was really hard for them to even find out who was that person reported And they would have guesses among themselves and they would say, like one thing they would try to speculate is like “Look, all of us, “five of us have been jailed “That only person, like for the past five years “never went to the detention center

“So maybe that was because why, so.” But nobody had any evidence – [Female Audience Member] And just one last question Is the youth within China interested in making greater change and being more politically aware? – Sorry I didn’t hear – [Female Audience Member] Is the youth in China interested in becoming more politically aware? In creating this greater change? – It’s interesting because when I was in China, I was really naive and I didn’t know much I didn’t know anything, I was ignorant A lot of people who are younger than me probably know even less A lot of people have never heard of Ai Weiwei which you think is so famous outside of China A lot of people had no access to Google, YouTube, anything When you grow up in a world like that, and when you don’t know what you don’t know You don’t know what to look for I don’t know if that makes sense – [Female Audience Member] It does – When I was talking to my friends and we would have argument and I would say “It’s terrible that you don’t have Google, “and you don’t know what you’re miss “You only see the information that you can.” But my friends would say “But I think my life “content and I don’t miss anything “I could find the music I want to find, “I could do everything that I want to.” Yeah, you don’t know what you have missed when you don’t know the world exist – [Technician] Anybody else? – [Male Audience Member] Hi, I just want to ask you a question because I’ve seen different sequences of YouTubes on journalism in China Like different traditional media and also online medias So I just wanna know like what’s your take on the journalism in China to spreading news like this Do you still have faith in them? Or I just wanna know from you a journalist student here – When I came to the U.S. was because I was very disappointed at the journalism in China And I always felt like it wasn’t the full story But after making this movie and I witnessed some of those reporters who interviewed Sparrow And some of the report did come out And the report that come out was very surprising as Lihua Shan said, it wasn’t even like slightly true to the reality, it was very distorted Sometimes just the opposite And what happened it was like really different levels of censorship The journalism who first broke the story of Hainan rape case was a reporter in Hainan and a week later after the case was circulated so widely, he was fired He was fired from the place he worked at And then among all the reporters who came to interview Sparrow, some of them I really respect, who are great journalists, who did investigative reporting and who worked really hard Who would follow Sparrow from one place to another and travel to get the full story And who asked eight hours of questions and trying to get all the details And I had a lot of respect for them But that reporter went back and she was told by her editor that she wasn’t allowed to write about the story She wasn’t allowed to publish, to even write about it So the media, the censorship worked as first, when the story came out, and then as it became, it got more and more attention, then the government tried to control or to lead the discussion, to direct the media Then there were distorted reporting But when even that was controversial and people was skeptical towards what the read or what they heard, then there was a ban from the (audio drops out) department which is a real department in China It’s called propaganda department which oversees all the media And there would be a ban that all the media agency cannot report on certain issue

And not only like a distorted way You simply cannot write about Sparrow, or write about Hainan rape case And I think that’s really challenging for any journalist or reporter who wanted to do a good job Because they are in the environment that even if they wanted to they can’t do it But I think I’m hopeful with the social media and citizen journalism because this really allowed them a platform to tell the story and to circulate the information Even though the posts would be deleted very shortly after they were published But still, there was a time window between it existed online and it got deleted and that was the short time window that people can have access to the information – [Male Audience Member] Thank you – [Female Audience Member] I was gonna ask the same question with him, because I went to journalism and the communication media study for my bachelor degree in Korea And you already answered, so I just want to say like, ’cause in Korea we have kind of similar problem even though we are kind of democrat country Like in 1960’s we had this president, he was like a dictator Now we have this president who’s adorer of him So we still have the press playing, media playing by government and we, there’s a lot of movies against to the government, but the government they kind of press them to not make the movies Like they suppress the companies so that the director cannot get any money So like in Korea, the public people, they gather their own money to make the movie come out So as you said, like using social media, and like power of public will be like the best way to solve that problem And I really like your work, so – Thank you, thank you – [Female Audience Member] Hi, thank you for this work I just wanted to know if you’ve considered collaborating with people who own servers and/or hackers who might be able to extend the period of time during which those posts are there so they cannot be deleted, thank you.” – [Moderator] I think do you have anything else you want to say? – I think I’ve pretty much said a lot. (laughs) I was the one that’s talking all night – [Moderator] Well thank you all very much And thank you, and thank you for the film – Thank you (audience applauds) – Thank you so much, thank you