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Man in Black

January 13, 2024

Man in Black

(Dir. Wang Bing, 2023)

West Coast premiere! Wang Bing in person!






2220 Arts + Archives
2220 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90057

Yanai Initiative logo_edited.jpg
Yanai Initiative logo_edited.jpg

Wang Xilin, 86, is one of China’s most important modern classical composers. Man in Black, which director Wang Bing, working for the first time outside his home country, conceived of as a gallery work, exhibits the body and soul of a man scarred by a life of suffering, a "man in black" who is yet still capable of deep and sincere compassion. With excerpts from his symphonies, he revisits some of the horrifying events that still live on in his memory, as testimony to an era that saw the dehumanization of the Chinese nation. Official selection: Cannes, NYFF.

TRT: 60 min

In person: Wang Bing

"Extraordinary... achingly beautiful."

—Jessica Kiang, Variety

"Risk-taking... A tribute to classical composer Wang Xilin that both figuratively and literally strips him bare."

—Dan Schindel, Hyperallergic

"Constitutes one of the most unique 'biographical' documentaries. A portrait of an artist who brought beauty and creativity into the world at immense personal sacrifice."

—Matthew Carey, Deadline

"Brings a level of stylization and polish that is unprecedented in [Wang's] oeuvre. [His] affinity with this fellow rebel artist [is] palpable throughout."

—Giovanni Marchini Camia, Cinema Scope

"A sobering, striking work—as much performance piece as documentary per se, and a notable departure from Wang's usual objective observational mode. It’s also a devastating testimony to the horrors of the last century in China, but also to the powers of endurance of an artist whose creativity has been as closely interwoven with the troubles of his age as, say, Shostakovich’s was with the Stalin era."

—Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily

(Available to download after screening date)

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