Documentary - Completed 2016

The film explores the huge transformation taking place in China today, from the perspectives of four of the country's most powerful businesswomen. Women who experienced the austerity of China's Cultural Revolution, followed by the subsequent economic boom. Though growing up in a patriarchal society,

& Awards

Zurich FF 2016
International Documentary Film Competition
    • Year of production
    • 2016
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Duration
    • 80 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Patrik SOERGEL
    • Producer(s)
    • Nicola GENNI (PIC Film)
    • Synopsis
    • China is changing face. It is now the world’s second most important power and the country with the highest number of self made female billionaires and entrepreneurs. This documentary recounts the astonishing stories of four pioneers of China's new economy, four women who experienced the intensity of China's Cultural Revolution and its attendant austerity, followed by the subsequent economic boom. Women who, though growing up in a patriarchal society, have risen from nothing and have become symbols of change, representing a forceful break with the past.

      In and out of the revolving doors in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen skyscrapers, we follow the lives of these Chinese businesswomen. They can at last live out their dreams of success, enjoying unprecedented levels of freedom. They wear silk clothes, fur coats and drive luxury cars. But their stories transcend success and wealth because they convincingly convey the immense transformation underway in their country.

      The Other Half of the Sky is a personal, intimate journey through the worlds of Yang Lan, the queen of Chinese talk-shows for women and owner of one of the leading private media and communication companies in the country; Dong Mingzhu, one of the most tenacious female leaders in China, heading up the world's largest manufacturer of air conditioning systems; Zhang Lan, a tycoon in the luxury restaurant business who, as a child, lived in a forced labour camp; Zhou Yi, a top manager working for IMB, one of the first foreign multinational companies to enter the chinese market. These are amongst the most powerful, influential Chinese businesswoman.

      How they created their empires, what is the social and economic context in which they operate and what is the price they had to pay in terms of their private and family lives: these are the questions which the documentary sets out to tackle through a series of first-hand accounts given by the subjects. Their stories reflect today's China: a country which is impatient to turn away from its rural past and become an industrialized, ultramodern economy, yet a country which increasingly has to tread a fine line between communism and capitalism.
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