28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Man in Black
Man in Black
Man in Black
Man in Black

Man in Black

director: Wang Bing
original title: Man in Black
country: France, United States, United Kingdom
year: 2023
running time: 60 min.


At the time of the film's shooting, the eighty-six-year-old Chinese composer Wang Xilin was one of the most prominent representatives of contemporary classical music. However, the history of his life is painfully intertwined with that of the Chinese Communist regime and concludes with his exile. In a minimalist arrangement, where the setting is an empty Parisian theatre and the means of expression are only the artist's naked body, spoken word and piano excerpts, the documentary performance presents us with a balance sheet of one person’s fate. A self-portrait of a man who senses the movements of great history on a physical level and inscribes them in musical compositions.

“I decided to film him in a kind of theater set. If you go to Beijing, the emperors’ tombs are a tourist site. This theater reminded me of that: the view from above of a deep and dark emperor’s tomb.” — Wang Bing

Source: Film Comment.com


Wang Bing (1967) is one of the leading figures in Chinese documentary film. He focuses on themes of liminal states, be it death, madness or institutionalised terror. The audience in Jihlava has already seen his films 'Til Madness Do Us Part (2013), Father and Sons (2014) and Mrs. Fang (2017).

more about film

director: Wang Bing
producer: K. Lihong, Sonia Buchman, Nicolas R. De La Mothe
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe Media
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas