October 26, 2021

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‘All About My Sisters’ Overview: Household Issues

‘All About My Sisters’ Review: Family Matters

Typically in “All About My Sisters,” the Chinese language filmmaker Wang Qiong’s documentary portrait of her household, you would possibly overlook that what you’re watching is filtered by means of a digital camera. Over a interval of seven years, Wang filmed her dad and mom, siblings and family members from inside the emotional thicket of their lives, capturing moments of piercing, non-public intimacy. Her strategy yields a movie bristling with the type of familial rancor that often solely emerges behind closed doorways.

There’s lots to warrant this bitterness, beginning with the truth that Wang’s youthful sister, Zhou Jin, was deserted as a new child earlier than being retrieved after which given to an uncle to lift. That was within the Nineties, when the mixture of China’s one-child coverage and a widespread cultural choice for sons had tragic penalties. As we be taught over the course of the movie’s epic (but impressively brisk-moving) three-hour arc, Jin’s is without doubt one of the many tales of deserted infants, sex-selective abortions and feminine infanticide that hang-out Wang’s household historical past.

Wang is neither a staid observer nor a proper interviewer, however an lively participant within the scenes she captures, usually intervening gently from behind her hand-held digital camera. “Have you ever ever thought that induced abortion is horrible to child women?” she asks her older sister, Wang Li, whose husband is determined for a male inheritor. Li’s response is easy however profound: “The world is horrible to us, too. Each transfer is a danger.”At instances, Wang’s candor might be unsettling: I puzzled concerning the ethics of her unflattering portrayal of Jin, who’s seen being merciless to her toddler, as if re-enacting her personal traumas. In such moments, “All About My Sisters” teeters discomfitingly between the private and the political, revealing how little separates the 2.

All About My Sisters
Not rated. In Mandarin, with subtitles. Operating time: 2 hours 54 minutes. In theaters.

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