CHINA | 2020 | 98MIN
Director: LI Yunbo
Screenwriter: LI Yunbo
Producer: ZHENG Wanshan
Cinematographer: CHEN Xijie
Editor: YUN Zhong
Art Director: ZENG Yiqing
Sound Designer: LI Yan
Music: LI Yan
Starring: HU Xiangzhen
导演 : 李云波
LI Yunbo’s MS. PEARL portraits a typical ‘Chinese spinster woman’ living in Guangzhou. The protagonist Ms. Pearl will turn 40 in one month. In order to fulfill the last wish of her mother, she sets up a goal of finding a boyfriend before the birthday. But a series of unexpected surprises await her. The director faithfully captures the mundane moments of her life. Being a so-called ‘leftover female’, she suffers from stress at work, pressure from family, and overall, discrimination from the marriage market.
The film never bores you, instead, it presents the beauty of an independent woman who finds her own way to navigate through her life. Following Ms. Pearl, as she wanders through the city, we sense the protagonist’s psychology through her interaction with the surrounding environment, or even simply by observing her existence within the urban landscape. The director took almost a documentary way to capture the daily life of Ms. Pearl and her friends, through which he casts a critical reflection on the stereotypical image of females in contemporary China.
The performances of the actresses are surprisingly natural and vivid, given that none of them are professionally trained. MS. PEARL brings a strength of unique and powerful women’s energy to the film and even suggesting an alternative possibility for women entering their middle age.
Hainan Island International Film Fesitval 2020
H!Future New Talent Awards ---- Official Recommendation
LI Yunbo is a up-and-coming director-screenwriter and a well-known film critic in China. After working as a television director for years, he made his debut feature SOMETHING IIN BLUE in 2016. This semi-improvised film was selected for San Sebastian International Film Festival New Director Competition and many others.
His second film Wild Swords (2019), a martial art and thriller film, was selected for Pingyao International Film Festival and Hong Kong International Film Festival. MS. PEARL (2020) is LI Yunbo's third feature work.