Xu Xing: In Residence at BU

Xu Xing behind a cameraThe BU Center for the Study of Asia and the BU Arts Initiative are please to welcome documentary filmmaker Xu Xing to BU for a three month residency. Please join us for the following public programs:

Open Studio
Chat about filmmaking, camera work, storytelling, & more
Tuesday, February 20 at 4:30-6PM
Monday, March 26 at 4:30-6PM
School of Theology, Rm. 636 (745 Commonwealth Ave.)
Free & Open to BU Students – no RSVP required

Screening & Discussion: Xu Xing’s documentary film Summary of Crimes (2013).
Thursday, March 29 at 7PM
Jacob Sleeper Auditorium (College of General Studies, 871 Commonwealth Ave.)
Free and open to the public, but you must RSVP.

Much of what we know about China’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) concerns the experience of officials and intellectuals. Our understanding of these “ten years of turmoil,” which erupted more than fifty years ago, is therefore urban, with a focus on the China’s political and cultural elites. In his film “Summary of Crimes,” director Xu Xing tackles the question of what happened in the countryside and at the grassroots, in interviews with a group of peasants convicted as counterrevolutionaries during the Cultural Revolution. For many years these peasants had no way of articulating their past sufferings, nor did society at large have any way of accessing the way the Cultural Revolution marked their life courses.
“Summary of Crimes” runs 106 minutes in Chinese with English subtitles.

XU Xing 徐星 is a prominent Chinese writer and documentary filmmaker. Often called ”The Chinese Jack Kerouac,” his works have consistently engaged with national and international issues of politics, power, and moral responsibility. At the same time these larger issues are always evoked through the lives of the common working people in China. We are delighted to announce that with support from the BU Arts Initiative and the BU Center for the Humanities, we have invited XU Xing to Boston University as BUCSA’s first incumbent of the Artist and Writer in Residence program. With this program we hope to provide opportunities for our students and faculty to interact with unusual and outstanding writers and artists as an interdisciplinary and cross-school collaborative experience.

Xu enjoyed his most prolific period as a writer during the 1980s and 1990s, and his books reached a broad international audience when they were translated into French, English and German. These works include “Variations Without a Theme” 无主题变奏 and “All That is Left is Yours ” 剩下的都属于你. In the early 1990s he migrated to Germany, staying in Heidelberg. After returning to his hometown Beijing, he began shooting documentary films. His work A Chronicle of My Cultural Revolution 我的文革编年史 (2009) was based on his personal experiences growing up in the Chinese Cultural Revolution. In his 2015 documentary Crime Summary 罪证摘要, Xu searches for peasants in Zhejiang who had been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison during the Cultural Revolution. His most recent work (2017) is his new film The Day of Reckoning 腊月三十日到来, which uses a heartbreaking love story between a husband and wife as a vehicle with which to confront the contortions of China’s political history since 1949.

Xu Xing will be in residence at Boston University from early February until late April. He will be co-teaching a film course with Prof. Cathy Yeh on the New Chinese documentary movement which began during the 1990s and continues until today. His films will be screened during the time he is at BU and he will offer several workshops on different aspects of documentary filmmaking. In addition to one public lecture at BU, he will be also be reaching out to the greater Boston community where he will be giving lectures and screenings of his films.

XU Xing CV English