梁为超，独立纪录片制片商Peak & Galaxy Communications的创立人，以制片人的身份帮助中国的优秀独立导演与国际市场对接。2010年，他与范俭导演合作的关于汶川地震再孕母亲的纪录片《活着》(The Next Life)获得NHK电视台和半岛电视台合拍资金，他还帮助刘硕、费佑明导演在新加坡新传媒（Mediacorp）和日本NHK联合举办的”亚洲预售”(Asian Pitch)中胜出，而他与单佐龙导演合作的项目《陌上桑》(Song of the Mulberries)获选EDN和Documentary Campus联合举办的2010年”跨界探险”(Crossing Borders)计划和2011年柏林电影节Doc Station项目。
China / Japan / England
In Sichuan dialect
with Chinese / English subtitles
In May 2010, Ye Hongmei, a native of Dujiangyan city in Sichuan province, started her Odyssey to xget pregnant again. Her eight year old daughter was killed in the devastating Wenchuan earthquake of 2008, a catastrophe that killed and maimed more than 6000 children. Due to China’s one-child policy, most of the grieving families were left childless. Among them, about 5000 couples are planning to have new babies. This surge in child-birth has almost become a ritual where a new life is seen as the reincarnation of the lost one. Hongmei, our heroine, expressly wishes for a daughter. Refusing to come to terms with the reality, she believes that another girl would mean the return of her gone daughter. The birth of a son, on the other hand, is unacceptable to her. However, at age 40, pregnancy becomes an ordeal for her. Oviduct inflammation makes her chance of conceiving slim. Since she is reluctant to adopt a child, in vitro fertilization becomes her only option. To this end she has to bear extraordinary pains: she travels 50 miles every day just to receive injections and blood tests. Back home, she has to go through acupuncture treatment. This arduous process takes a toll on her health and she is on the brink of a break-down.
While her husband takes good care of her at home, he is jobless and lives on unemployment compensation. He is also fond of drinking and smoking. Instead of showing unswerving love for his wife, he thinks of divorce when the prospects of Hongmei getting pregnant begin to dwindle. The government covers the two attempts by each couple to get in vitro fertilization but the couple has to bear all additional costs. There are other sources of grievances too: on the anniversary of the earthquake, the authorities tried to prevent parents from holding public memorial to remember their children.
Among Hongmei’s female friends who likewise lost children in the earthquake, some got pregnant. Others didn’t. In either case, it could be a source of stress for her. Meanwhile she becomes increasingly concerned about her age. The weakening health and financial strains make her second in vitro fertilization attempt her last, with considerable risks. Can she make it?
Richard Liang – Producer
Richard Liang is the founder of Peak & Galaxy Communications which specializes in independent documentary films production. Liang has dedicated his career to the internationalization of Chinese documentary films. The Next Life, a doc film produced by Liang and directed by Fan Jian, secured co-production funds from NHK & AJE. Liang also played a key role in the successful pitching of films by Directors Liu Shuo and Fei Youming during the Asian Pitch co-sponsored by Mediacorp (Singapore) and NHK (Japan). Song of the Mulberries, a film he collaborates with Director Shan Zuolong, has been selected by the “Crossing Borders” plan funded by EDN and Documentary Campus, as well as the Doc Station project of the Berlin Film Festival.
Fan Jian – Director
Fan Jian graduated from the Department of Director of Beijing Film Academy. He is an independent filmmaker in Beijing. He used to work for China Central Television and has made more than twenty documentary shorts. In 2006, his documentary film on Chinese migrant workers, Dancing in the City, was selected by the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam and was screened at numerous film festivals in and out of China. In 2008, his film Taxi was among the Top Ten Documentaries at the China Independent Film Festival (CIFF) and was admitted by the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival and OXDOX. His new documentary film The Next Life records the arduous efforts to have another child by a couple who lost their only daughter in Sichuan Earthquake of 2008. A co-production with NHK & AJE, The Next Life was screened at multiple international film festivals and TV stations in 2011.