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Nostalgia他乡:Documentary film Screening and Director Q&A

Friday 10 May, 4.30 pm to 7.00 pm, Pavilion Rm

This screening will show a documentary film about the rise and fall of a mining town on the border between Guangdong and Hunan, China, during the industrial transformation of the 1980s. The film reflects the memories and emotions of individuals in the changing era.

Inspired by the life experiences of a female director, Li Jie presents the nostalgia of the mining community’s children who are confused about their own identities.

After the screening, a Q&A with Director Li Jie, Editor Yu Xiaochuan (online) and Visiting Associate Professor Tan Jia (in person) will take place, discussing the Director’s creation of the factory and mining documentary as a niche subject, as well as sharing the creative insights of Chinese female filmmakers and researchers.

Refreshments will be served, and the event will provide an opportunity to chat and network.

The event is being organised by Hughes Hall student Yutong Ni (MPhil in Film & Screen Studies). Join us in sharing memories of nostalgia from China in the 1980s and participate in this female-focused conversation.

All are welcome, including non-college members, so feel free to invite guests. This event is now sold out.


There was once a strange town in Hunan, China. In the 1980s, most of the rural areas in China didn’t even know what a car was, but this town already had its own fleet of vehicles. It was a “fashionable” town where the cinema would show the latest movies as soon as they came out. Despite being situated in a remote mountainous area, the young people in the village dressed fashionably. The town was in a poor county, but when its residents went to Guangdong province, they were respected and considered “wealthy”.

This town was called “Meitian.” However, in the early 1990s, most of its residents seemed to leave the town overnight, and nobody knew where they had gone. Nostalgia tells the story of this southern Chinese town that has undergone an industrial transformation. Nearly 100,000 people from all over China had come to Meitian to work for a loss-making enterprise, but they were eventually scattered throughout the world.


Li Jie
Li Jie is a director and scholar in Film and Literature Studies in Hunan, China. Her documentary film Nostalgia (2021) entered the competition at the 18th Chinese Youth Film Week, South Europe International Film Festival and Beijing College Student Film Festival and won Best Picture of the Year at the 18th Vision Youth Awards in 2021.

She is currently working on a feature film about three women’s life experience in the thirty years of social change from the 1990s to the 21st century, as well as two documentaries discussing the relationship between women and rivers, and clans.

Yu Xiaochuan
Xiaochuan Yu, film editor, who began her career since 2011 and has participated in a variety of films including documentaries City Dream, Nostalgia, This is Life, Chinese Mayor; TV historical documentary Sun Yat-Sen 1911; fiction films Bad Guys Must Die, Burned Wings.

City Dream was selected into 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and won Grand Jury Prize Winner of Viewfinders Competition for 2019 DOC NYC. Chinese Mayor won World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and Best Documentary for the 52nd Golden Horse Awards. She was jury member for the 15th First International Film Festival, and editing workshop tutor of the 5th West Lake International Documentary Festival.

Tan Jia
Tan Jia is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is currently a visiting scholar at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. She is the author of Digital Masquerade: Feminist Rights and Queer Media in China (New York University Press, 2023).

Her research on digital media, feminism, queer culture, and documentary have appeared in Crime, Media, Culture; Critical Studies in Media Communication; GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies; Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, and Journal of Chinese Cinemas. Her research has been funded by Research Grants Council, Social Science Research Council, Harold Lloyd Foundation, and so on. Currently, she serves as an Associate Member for Institute for Transpacific Cultural Research, Simon Fraser University, Canada. She is also on the editorial board of Communication, Culture, and Critique, one of the journals affiliated with the International Communication Association (ICA).


16:30 Screen
18:00 Q&A
18:30 Chat & Drinks
19:00 Close

Who should attend?

  • film studies and gender studies students/academics, and those in related disciplines
  • those with an interest in Chinese culture and history
  • those with an interest in film/documentary creation
  • anyone who wants to learn more about more about this fascinating story


  • Yutong Ni
    Film Studies MPhil in Hughes Hall. Her research interests are revolutionary female image in 20th-century Chinese cinema and female discourse in contemporary.
  • Dr Ayse Derya Cavga
    Derya is a Computational Biologist at Ochre Bio, working towards developing RNA therapies for liver disease, including liver cancer. Previously, she completed a PhD at the Computational Systems Biology Lab at Koc University, Istanbul, where she worked on prostate cancer. She also holds an MSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Turkey’s Bilkent University, where she focused on liver cancer. At Hughes Hall, Derya is a By-Fellow, Tutor and Gender Equality Champion. She recently organised the International Women’s Day 2023 and 2024 events. She likes to bring people together to talk about science, health, mental health, and equality.


Contact Yutong Ni (yn298)