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February 28, 2012 > Documentary explores modern China's first feminist

Documentary explores modern China's first feminist

Submitted By Rae Chang

Meet the "Chinese Joan of Arc" Qiu Jin (1875-1907), a radical women's rights activist who defied tradition to become the leader of a revolutionary army. Qiu Jin spoke out against oppressive practices such as footbinding and demanded equal opportunities for women. She attempted an armed uprising against the corrupt Qing Dynasty and became the first female martyr for China's 1911 Revolution. Qiu Jin is celebrated as a national heroine today.

While Qiu Jin is a familiar figure in China, she is largely unknown outside of the country. "Autumn Gem" is the first documentary feature on Qiu Jin in the U.S. Using scholar interviews, archival materials, and dramatic recreation scenes based on her original writings, "Autumn Gem" brings the story of Qiu Jin to life.

The hour-long film was produced and directed by two Bay Area Chinese American filmmakers, Rae Chang and Adam Tow. It has screened at over 100 venues worldwide, including Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, Princeton, Brown, University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts Boston, Pacific Asia Museum, and Tribeca Film Center in New York.

The year 2011 marked the centenary of the 1911 Revolution that ended imperial rule in China. It is especially crucial to acknowledge the role of women in the country's transition to a modern nation. "Autumn Gem" sheds light on a seminal figure who continues to serve as an inspiration to Chinese women today.

The Fremont Public Library will host a free screening in conjunction with Women's History Month on Tuesday, March 6 at 7 p.m. Filmmakers Rae Chang and Adam Tow will attend the event and participate in a Q&A session afterwards. For more information go to

Autumn Gem
Tuesday, March 6
7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Fremont Public Library
2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont
(510) 745-1401

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