Women's Film Screening: Hidden Letters

George Town Festival








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Duration: 87 minutes without intermission
Doors Open: 30 minutes before the show
Recommended for: 3 years old and above

For thousands of years, women in China were forced into oppressive marriages, forbidden to read or write. To cope, they developed a secret language called Nüshu.

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Jul 2024

8:00PM (GMT+8)

*post-show talk session

About the Show

Director: Violent Du Feng, Zhao Qing
Country: China, US, Norway, Germany
2022, Feature Documentary, 87 minutes
Language: Mandarin with English subtitles
Age Suitability: All ages
After the screening, there will be a virtual Q&A session with Violet Du Feng (30 minutes) 

For thousands of years, women in China were forced into oppressive marriages, forbidden to read or write by their households. To cope, they developed and shared a secret language among themselves called Nüshu. Written in poems or songs with bamboo pens on paper-folded fans and handkerchiefs, these hidden letters brought generations of Chinese women together, in a clandestine support system of sisterhood, hope and survival.

This feature documentary follows two millennial Chinese women who are connected by their fascination with Nüshu and their desire to safeguard its legacy. Influenced by Nüshu’s history of female solidarity, they struggle to find balance as they forge their own paths in a patriarchal culture that often undermines female autonomy.

Video Teaser

Hidden Letters narrates the passion of two modern Chinese women for Nüshu, as each confronts the constraints and challenges of living in a patriarchal society. This documentary was shortlisted for the 95th Academy Awards in the Best Documentary Feature category. 

Additional & Accessibility Info

  • Age Suitability: All ages.
  • Language: The film will be in Mandarin with English subtitles.

Artist Bio

Violet Du Feng - Director, Producer

Born in Shanghai and based in New York, Violet Du Feng is a celebrated documentarian. She began her career as a co-producer on the critically acclaimed 2007 film Nanking, which won a Sundance Special Jury Award, a Peabody Award and an Emmy Award.

Zhao Qing - Co-Director

Zhao Qing is the director of the award-winning Please Remember Me, which is supported by the Sundance Documentary Fund, IDFA Bertha Fund and the Britdoc Connect Fund. She has directed and hosted popular TV documentary programmes such as The Bund and Documentary Editing Room. 

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