Two years ago, Chinese actress and filmmaker Zhao Wei 赵薇 (zhào wēi) watched Snatches: Moments from Women’s Lives. The short film series came from BBC Studios in Great Britain.

The issues displayed were all too familiar—those of woman being silenced.

Inspired by their efforts, Zhao Wei launched and produced a nine episode tv mini-series. “Hear Her 听见她说” (tīng jiàn tā shuō) came out in 2020 and blew up in mainland China.

For those who don’t know her, Zhao Wei has many roles. Not only is she one of China’s most popular actresses, but she is also a director in her own right.

“”Hear Her” however, is her first TV series. Its objective is simple: to bring the hardships of ordinary women to the screen.

Although women in stand-up comedy have recently gained traction in China, millions of women are still  muffled by society. An invisible chain shackles women to unforgiving standards, while their grievances remain unseen and unheard.

“Hear Her” is China’s first feminist monologue. Each 15 minute episode features one actress, one story, and one social prejudice against women.

These characters come from all walks of life. Episodes feature anyone from a beauty guru to an eighty-year-old artist, from a full-time mother to an AI robot.

Using long-takes, quick cuts, and cinematic approaches, this show speaks for the women who are too afraid to defy expectations.



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Emilie Zhang