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Shadow of the Moon

Loli, an ambitious 12-year-old, dwells in a run-down urban village in South China. After losing both her parents, she is forced to live with her dreadful grandma and take care of her two younger siblings. Hoping to leave her troubled family behind and move to the city, she attempts to win over the heart of a kind woman who wants to adopt a child. Everything seems to unfold as she plans until a nightmare comes true…

  • Shuhan Lei
  • Shuhan Lei
  • Wendi Tang
  • Jingyu Luo
  • Jiayan Jiang
    Key Cast
  • Tian Xu
    Key Cast
    "Miss Zhao"
  • Jie Tu
    Key Cast
    "Mr Zhao"
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  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 1 second
  • Completion Date:
    July 1, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    80,000 CNY
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Director Biography - Shuhan Lei

Shuhan Lei, director, writer and editor currently based in New York. Graduated from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, double majored in Film & TV Production and Philosophy. Born and raised in a southwestern city in China and greatly inspired by its people and geographic space. Her works are vastly concerned with individuality, social struggle and female perspective.

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Director Statement

The story was inspired by a peculiar location -- a typical urban village in South China where I've worked as a volunteer for the past 9 years. While helping to improve the health and living conditions of the left-behind children there, my peers and I have encountered various forms of pressure from government authorities for publishing pictures and videos of that area, which they think "harm the image of the city". However, I thought and still believe that the place and its people need to be heard and seen, and thus as a filmmaker I decided to use the tools I have to achieve this goal.

This film challenges our ordinary moral sense and requires us to put aside the question of good and bad in order to see the social and ethical complexity beneath it. The protagonist is a perfectly flawed character who has agency and dangerous desires. However, despite her difficult circumstances, she doesn't disempower herself in order to yield empathy from the audience. Rather, it's her dignity and ambition that make her so vividly human and relatable. Last but not least, hard as it is to see the horrible sexual assault happen to her on screen, I think it's rather crucial for us to have the courage to face this unsettling but truly existing and ongoing issue in our society, since acknowledgement is the first step to solving the problem.