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Longing for the Rain : journeys into the dislocated female body of urban China

Lo, V; Wang, N; (2019) Longing for the Rain : journeys into the dislocated female body of urban China. In: Lo, V and Berry, C and Liping, G, (eds.) Film and the Chinese Medical Humanities. (pp. 116-131). Routledge: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

As the camera pans in on the film’s main protagonist, Fang Lei, masturbating to a pornographic DVD, we simultaneously look out over the emptiness of Beijing. Fang Lei is ‘longing for rain’ – for the love, sex, and passion of the euphemistic Chinese title of the film Chunmeng 春梦 ‘lit. spring dream’. Her apparently amiable husband is too frenetically engaged with the digital world to notice his wife’s growing alienation. Yang Lina’s杨荔纳 film subsequently charts the breakdown of the couple’s relationship and the husband’s abduction of their daughter as Fang Lei loses her way in a world where she cannot differentiate the phantasms of day and night. As Fang Lei’s behaviour and state of mind transgress all boundaries of normalcy, Longing for the Rain invites us to enter into her spiritual crisis and follow her itineraries through the cityscape and her own inner landscape in search of what is, ultimately, an uncertain healing process. Compiling an interview with the director with subjective viewer-responses from UCL Medical Humanities MA students of 2018, this chapter explores what the film can tell us about the underbelly of Beijing, China’s religious revival and the female soul of the city.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Longing for the Rain : journeys into the dislocated female body of urban China
ISBN-13: 9781138580299
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.4324/9780429507465
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429507465
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10085481
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