Angels Wear White

Thursday, April 05, 2018
6:30 p.m.

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Sunday, April 08, 2018
8:45 p.m.
Roxie Theater

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Sunday, April 15, 2018
3:00 p.m.
YBCA Screening Room

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The assault of two underage girls by a local official in a sunlight-bathed seaside town becomes the focal point for this seething study of the challenges women face in Chinese society. Weaving multiple storylines that touch on labor issues, political corruption, and social injustice, Vivian Qu's masterful follow-up to Trap Street (Festival 2014) shows in similarly spellbinding fashion how this single incident has a cascading impact on several women's lives. Winner Best Director, Golden Horse Film Festival.

"What distinguishes Angels Wear White is that it is, on the one hand, suspenseful and horribly gripping, while on the other, it’s an artistically executed film, with a hand that always serves the story….While the principals play out their tale, a menacing gang … circles the action, ready to snap up the weakened detritus of the film’s bigger sharks. They’re almost never seen in daylight, yet Qu softens the piece by opting for dusky hues, making the viewer always aware that this story is taking place by the sea, on the edge of things. Anyone could fall off." – Fionnuala Halligan, Screen Daily

"In other hands, this would be a compelling enough crime procedural, but Qu moulds Angels Wear White into a daylight noir of complex moral dilemmas, compromised public services, and a social system that stacks the odds against our protagonists at every turn." – Michael Leader, Sight & Sound

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Director Vivian Qu

After starting her career as a producer, Vivian Qu made her writing/directing debut with Trap Street (Festival 2014), which won the Grand Jury Prize in the narrative competition at the Boston Independent Film Festival. Of her inspiration for her sophomore feature, Angels Wear White, she says, “When I look at a woman, I realize the set of values that she has actually come from when she was growing up, how she was taught and what kind of choices she was given. Most of these women didn’t have the opportunity to break out from what [their lives were] directed towards. It is really sad. I wanted to really look at the whole past of a woman, from the young adolescent to the mature woman, and really examine how we became what we became.” (Mubi)

Film Details
  • Country(ies): China/France
  • Language(s): Mandarin
  • Year: 2017
  • Running time: 107
  • Director(s): Vivian Qu
  • Producer(s): Sean Chen
  • Writer(s): Vivian Qu
  • Cinematographer(s): Benoit Dervaux
  • Editor(s): Yang Hongyu
  • Music: Wen Zi
  • With: Wen Qi, Zhou Meijun, Shi Ke
  • Print Source: KimStim