Chinese director shares insights on her new work on personal growth


“The Water Murmurs,” directed by Chen Jianying, won the Palme d’Or for the best short film at the Cannes Film Festival 2022. This year, the Chinese director brought her new work, “Hi Farewell,” to the 14th Beijing International Film Festival. This time she’s not only the film’s director, but also the protagonist.

Chen said she participated in the short film because her team was short of people, and she had to make sure that the movie was completed. 

Director Chen Jianying works with her team. /Zeng Chen

Director Chen Jianying works with her team. /Zeng Chen

“As a director, I really just held on to the foundation of this film,” she said, explaining that she wanted to portray the predicament of a woman struggling with her career and relationship.

The short film explores intimacy from women’s perspective, telling the story of how they counter their vulnerabilities. Chen said the female character of her film is not strong and decisive. “But I think to me, that’s how you love yourself as a woman. You don’t only love yourself because you’re strong and you’re good, you also love yourself when you’re not that good,” she said. 

“We grow as we look at ourselves and see our fault and embrace it and the process of figuring it out through all the struggles and all the pain, and that’s how we grow,” she said.

Cameraman: Zheng Hao