the oscar-winning work of ruby yang

Here's an interesting article on Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ruby Yang, whose documentaries shine a light and spread awareness on lesser known, often taboo and controversial issues in Chinese society, like AIDS and homosexuality: Chinese Oscar winner happy despite lack of audience.

She won an Oscar in 2007 for her short documentary, The Blood of Yingzhou District, which tells the story of traditional Chinese family obligations colliding with the fear of AIDS in impoverished Anhui province, and the fate of those left behind. It's enormously depressing, but an amazing film.

Yet it's never been officially released in China, nor shown on state television, and probably never will be, due in part to its sensitive subject matter. She hopes, however, that the film has been able to raise awareness about AIDS in China amongst policy-makers and health professionals.

Her latest film, Tongzhi in Love, is a short documentary examining the lives of gay men in modern China. I've seen it, and it's a fascinating look cultural expectations, dutiful sons, and the dilemmas of a double life. The film is currently making its way through the film festival circuit. If you get the chance, I recommend checking it out.

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