Mei Li

Director: Zhou Zhou
2018 | Taiwan, China | 88m
GENRE: Domestic Abuse | Drama | East Asian | Lesbian | Relationships
SECTION: World Cinema

In this transfixing portrait of love and loneliness in a changing China, we follow impulsive Meili, a young woman living in the northern city of Changchun. Toiling to the hiss and hum of machines at a dry cleaner’s, sharing a tiny apartment with her career-minded girlfriend, exploding at the sister and brother-in-law who won’t stop hounding her for money, Meili yearns to escape her stifling—and sometimes violent—everyday. But after her girlfriend abandons her and their plans to move south to Shanghai, Meili soon finds herself jobless and friendless too. Will she succumb to her despair or struggle on for the happiness she deserves?

First-time director Zhou Zhou takes a boldly intimate tack: the camera almost never leaves the delicately expressive face of newcomer Chi Yun, who also co-wrote the film. And through this closeness, we feel intensely Meili’s stubborn hope—and her rage churning just below the surface.


This film includes depictions of graphic violence.

Center for Asian American Media / Chinese Rainbow Network

  • Language: In Mandarin with English subtitles
  • Premiere Status: North America