Pioneering filmmaker Hu Jie uncovers the tragic story of a teacher beaten to death by her students during the Cultural Revolution.
In 1966, the Cultural Revolution exploded throughout China, as Mao's Red Guards persecuted suspected Rightists. Bian Zhongyun, the vice principal of a prestigious school in Beijing, was beaten to death by her own students, becoming one of the first victims of the revolutionary violence that would engulf the entire nation.
In THOUGH I AM GONE, Hu draws upon photographs taken by Bian's husband, Wang Jingyao, whose impulse to document his wife's death makes him a spiritual forebear to Hu's fearless work. Hu also incorporates vivid accounts from surviving witnesses and archival footage to depict the deadly madness of the era.
"One of the Cultural Revolution's most shocking and perplexing cases. We can only imagine how difficult it is for Hu to produce his films; only a committed person who takes what he does as a 'calling' can persist." —Dr. Weili Yu, Yale University, in the journal Asian Educational Media ServiceBest Film, Chinese Documentary Film Exhibition
Jury Prize, Reel China Contemporary Documentary Festival
Melbourne International Film Festival
"Though none of his works have been publicly shown in China, Hu Jie is one of his country's most noteworthy filmmakers." —The New York Review of Books
"A profoundly moving memorial to the victims of Mao's senseless political violence." —ReelTime Arts
"Packs a powerful punch in just over an hour...Director Hue Jie exploys a collage-like approach, interspersing archival footage and propaganda songs with present day interviews with Wang and other survivors of this tragic period of history." —Twitch Film
"Though I Am Gone challenges the authorities; the mainland may have sanctioned other films which broach the so-called '10 years of catastrophe' but Hu's film is still banned." —South China Morning Post
"Hu Jie's body of work puts a human face on some of the worst horrors of the Communist Party's recent history." —Public Radio International