Chinese director Wang Quanan‘s romantic drama “Tuya’s Marriage” is set in Inner Mongolia about a hardworking and hardheaded desert herder who refuses to be settled in a town in accordance with the new industrialization policy. She is kept busy with two kids, a disabled husband and 100 sheep to care for, but one day she hurts her back. The only way for the family to survive is for her to divorce her husband on paper and look for a new spouse who can take care of the whole family. Music Box Film released the feature in New York last month, and will open in Los Angeles this Friday, May 23.
What initially attracted you to filmmaking, and how has that interest evolved during your career?
Every young person has dreamed of making movies and I am no exception. As my career progresses, I am increasingly able to express myself through my films. To have this as a career is quite satisfying because not only do I have a way of expressing myself – which is something everyone needs — but I also have the added benefit of being able to support myself doing it.
How did the idea for “Tuya’s Marriage come about?
My mother was born near the area where we made this film. I have always liked the Mongolians there, their lifestyle, their music. When I heard that the herdsmen were being forced out of this area by the government because of the desertification of the grasslands there, I decided to make a film there to document this way of life before it disappeared. The story of Tuya is based on a true story of one of these families.
Are there other aspects of filmmaking that you would still like to explore?
Obviously, I am very curious about other types of films. But presently my way of filmmaking is the most suited to me.
Who has been a great influence for you as far as filmmaking?
Charlie Chaplin had a great impact on me. He represented film at its best and he helped me to understand one thing: movies need to be both simple and interesting.
What other genres or stories would like to explore as a filmmaker, and what is your next project?
My next planned project is a larger scale movie: “White Deer Plain,” a novel that many Chinese filmmakers would like to attempt to adapt. The plot is very complex, but I feel I now have the ability to do this and want to bring it to this novel to the screen in my own way.
What is your definition of