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Chinese TV Crew Films on MacDowell Colony Grounds for Documentary About Eileen Chang

- June 9, 2014

Type: Buildings & Grounds, Artist News

Visit part of a research trip for one-hour film scheduled to broadcast in China this fall.

This spring, a three-man camera crew from RTHK, a public television and radio company in Hong Kong, visited the U.S. to collect footage for a one-hour documentary the station is producing on Chinese writer Eileen Chang, author of Lust Caution.

Chang, who was in residence in 1956 and 1957, was considered one of the most influential modern Chinese writers and continues to enjoy enormous popularity in China. She met screenwriter and playwright Ferdinand Reyher while in residence, and the two married after her first residency.

According to The New York Times, Chang was a native of Shanghai and was a “beloved figure who had a huge devoted following in Taiwan, Hong Kong and in other Chinese communities around the world.” Her works, especially her earliest short stories, were considered classics by literary critics. Her fiction illustrates the tensions between men and women in love, and is considered by some scholars to be among the best Chinese literature of the period.

Until the 1990s, her works had been suppressed in mainland China, said The Times, largely because her most widely known novels, Rice Sprout Song (1954)—her first novel written entirely in English—andThe Naked Earth (1956), were “unsparing in their criticism of Communists.”

Chang left China and then Hong Kong for the United States in 1955, never to return to mainland China, and she became a US citizen in 1960. She died in 1995.

The RTHK crew spent three hours on The MacDowell Colony grounds, filming a segment interviewing Resident Director David Macy in the original Eugene Coleman Savidge Library, and then shot in Bond Hall and Mansfield Studio. The film is expected to be broadcast in the September-October timeframe.