China | 2021 | 96min | Documentary
Director: ZHOU Hao
Executive Producer: HOU Hongliang
Alice SHI, MA Zhengqiang, XIAO Peng, HE Shan, Andy MA
Cinematographer: WANG Xun
Editor: LI Bo
Sound: WEN Bo
Music: FENG Jin
Starring: TONG Meimei, Sunteck YAO
About the film
ALL IN follows Tong and Sunteck, two people suffering from traumas, and reveal how they each dealing with pain and loss and how they inspiring others using their professions.
Tong’s father committed suicide when she was little, and she lost her husband in her middle age, but she has become a psychologist and did her best to heal others. Sunteck isolated himself after being raped by a stranger at the age of 12, and he used mime art to perform pains and advocate for changes. Both of them were strong human beings taking responsibility to speak out for people like them.
However, besides simply showing the lives and suffers of people with PTSD, the self-reflexive documentary explores the ethical challenges of documentary filmmaking. Though it intended to take an observational approach, it inevitably intruded these people’s lives and reminded them of the painful past. Thus, the filmmakers were forced to walk from the back to the front and face the difficulties.
Sometimes the roles inverted, interviewees questioned the filmmakers about their own lives. The latter part of the film consists of footage that we normally considered as behind the scene, including daily interactions and conversations among interviewees and the filmmakers about the film ethics. The traditional power dynamics were disrupted in ALL IN, and instead, the interviewees and filmmaker gained mutual growth from the filming experience. The film reflects on itself and suggests a respectful, humane approach to documentary filmmaking.
Shanghai International Film Festival
Golden Goblet Award - Official Selection
ZHOU Hao is a documentary filmmaker who has worked as a journalist for more than a decade, producing documentaries since 2001. ZHOU’s works have won awards and been screened at film festivals around the world more than a hundred times. In 2014, COTTON won Best Documentary at the 51st Golden Horse Film Festival. In 2015, THE CHINESE MAYOR, won the Special Jury Award for Unparalleled Access at the 31st Sundance Film Festival, as well as Best Documentary at the 9th Asian Film Awards, and won ZHOU the Best Documentary award for the second time in a row at the 52nd Golden Horse Film Festival. In 2020, he was invited by the academy to join Oscar voters.