Li Yu

Lost in Bejing
HK/CN 2007, Director: Li Yu

Li Yu, the shooting star of the Chinese cinema

The Chinese director Yu Li was born in 1973 in the province of Shangdong. She started work as a scriptwriter and director for the state television station CCTV. Her first documentary cinema work, Jie jie, was banned. In 2001 she made her feature film debut with Jin nian xia tian, about the sexual relationship of two women.

Lost in Beijing
Young Ping Guo and her husband An Kun have come to Beijing from the provinces, where there are better jobs and wages than back home. Ping Guo works in a foot-massage salon, An as a window cleaner for skyscrapers. When Ping Guo, drunk, is raped by her boss, Lin Dong, and her husband gets wind of this, he begins blackmailing the boss. When Ping Guo becomes pregnant, her husband assumes that Lin Dong must be the father. His attempt to extort even more money from his wife's employer ends in a questionable deal.
Right from the very first scene the DV camera stays hot on the heels of young Ping Guo in the boomtown of Beijing. The camera sticks conscientiously to this small, slim woman, jostles right behind her back, follows her everywhere she goes. Ping Guo and An Kun, the girl with the porcelain face and the illiterate with a simple but easily irritated mind: one of hundreds of thousands of similar couples in Beijing, exhausted, uncertain existences, migrants in the mega-city, precarious living, Chinese style. The camera places the audience in the same precarious situation, with flash pans, erratic zooms, images deliberately unfocused and a lurching appearance when the two of them have drunk too much beer or rice wine.