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The Bozeman Doc Series continues Thursday, February 18th, at 7pm at the Emerson Center, with the Montana premiere of the brand new documentary Hooligan Sparrow. The film will be preceded by a sneak peak at a scene from The Middle Kingdom, the new film by award-winning Bozeman filmmaker and Bozeman Doc Series founder Jason Burlage.
The danger is palpable as intrepid young filmmaker Nanfu Wang follows maverick activist Ye Haiyan (a.k.a Hooligan Sparrow) and her band of colleagues to Hainan Province in southern China to protest the case of six elementary school girls who were sexually abused by their principal. Marked as enemies of the state, the activists are under constant government surveillance and face interrogation, harassment, and imprisonment. Sparrow, who gained notoriety with her advocacy work for sex workers’ rights, continues to champion girls’ and women’s rights and arms herself with the power and reach of social media.
Filmmaker Wang becomes a target along with Sparrow, as she faces destroyed cameras and intimidation. Yet she bravely and tenaciously keeps shooting, guerrilla-style, with secret recording devices and hidden-camera glasses, and in the process, she exposes a startling number of undercover security agents on the streets. Eventually, after smuggling footage out of the country, Wang is able tell the story of her journey with the extraordinary revolutionary Sparrow, her fellow activists, and their seemingly impossible battle for human rights.
Hooligan Sparrow World Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in late January to critical acclaim, and appears destined to become one of the most talked about documentaries of the year.
“A daring exposé. Wang has managed to uncover…another human-rights outrage in China, the thug-like nature of government’s intrusion into private lives.” The Hollywood Reporter
“A real life thriller…gives a sense of the realities of life on the sharp edge of activism.” Screen Daily
The Middle Kingdom will world premiere at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula on Sunday, February 21st. An immersive observational documentary, The Middle Kingdom paints a complex portrait of modern Chinese society through the juxtaposition of the real daily lives of the people of a Shanghai neighborhood and the inner lives they reveal to a local fortune-teller. Learn more about the film at www.devolutionfilms.org.
Jason Burlage is a documentary producer/director and founder of Devolution Films, a Bozeman based production company for which he has produced films for the National Park Service, The Department of Environmental Quality, the U.S. Forest Service and others. Jason’s first feature documentary, Mi Chacra, filmed in the mountains of southern Peru, won the Grand Prize at the 2010 Banff Mountain Film Festival, screened at festivals around the world and had it’s broadcast premiere on ARTE. Jason is a graduate of the Montana State University film program.