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BBC series inspires Zhao Wei's latest directorial outing 'Hear Her'

By Xu Fan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-11-18 14:34

Actress Yang Zi stars a daughter who has endured her overbearing mother for more than 20 years. [Photo provided to China Daily]

As the first of its kind in China, Hear Her – an eight-episode monologue series about women's rights – is set to run on the streaming giant Tencent on Nov 17, and expected to be streamed by BBC's digital platforms in 2021.

Marking actress-filmmaker Zhao Wei's latest directorial outing, the program is based on the format of BBC Studios' short-film series Snatches: Moments from Women's Lives.

Zhao reveals she watched the British program around two years ago, which had inspired her to realize that Chinese women have been struggling with similar plights, motivating her to raise public awareness in order to challenge the status quo.

Qi Xi portrays a young woman who's struggling with her look. [Photo provided to China Daily]

With an all-female cast, the series gathers actresses Bai Baihe, Hao Lei, Qi Xi, Wang Zhi, Xi Meijuan, Yang Zi, Yong Mei and Yang Mi, each respectively starring in one of the episodes, with themes ranging from overbearing parenting to gender discrimination and domestic violence. Each episode lasts for around 15 minutes.

During an advanced screening in downtown Beijing on Nov 5, two episodes were shown, respectively featuring Qi, portraying a young woman struggling with her appearance, and Yang Zi, acting as a 20-something speaking out about the stress from her controlling mother.

While Hao appears as a victim of domestic violence, Yang Mi plays an artificial-intelligence robot, the only sci-fi story in the eight standalone tales.

Ding Ke, general manager of greater China of BBC Studios, says work on having the show released on BBC's digital platforms is underway, adding that she hopes the work, which reflects social values and realistic thoughts, can resonate with audiences around the world.

Poster of Hear Her, China's first female monologue series. [Photo provided to China Daily]
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