She Should

In a remote town, the mother, Li Ping, lives with her daughter. Introduced by a friend, Li Ping is offered a job in a textile factory, but she is soon subjected to an injustice, as the factory stipulates that all female workers have to cut their hair. While Li Ping is hesitant, her daughter, Li Ming, encounters a similar situation at the high school she attends. She has long, beautiful hair, but the school requires all students to keep their hair short, and Li Ming's unusual hair style has attracted the attention of the school's director, Mr. Lu. As Li Ming's teacher, Lily Zhang learns the reason why Li Ming has to keep her hair long from her communication with her. However, after Lily Zhang promises to help Li Ming explain to the school, something tragic happens...

  • Yifan Xu
  • Yifan Xu
  • Xiaoxuan Li
  • Bo Su
    Key Cast
  • Runtian Lu
  • Boyu Chen
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Feature, Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 46 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 18, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    150,000 CNY
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of Bristol
  • Swedish International Film Festival
    September 14, 2023
    Best Student film - Nominated
Director Biography - Yifan Xu

Yifan Xu, a film student at Beijing Film Academy and University of Portsmouth, currently studying MA Film and TV at University of Bristol, has participated in the production of the short film The Moon Lamp in the UK, which was shortlisted at the Birmingham and Southampton Film Festivals, and was awarded the Best Young Filmmaker at Making Waves. As a director, 'Are You Scared' was shortlisted at the Portsmouth Shorts Cut Film Festival and Crossing The Screen Film Festival.

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Director Statement

This is a short fiction film about women in China.

Li Ping is a tragic mother in the film, and she epitomizes what it means to be a woman in a remote area in this era. She loves her daughter dearly, but she has been compromising her life, so she subconsciously believes that the way her daughter faces injustice should also be compromising, and she tries to apply her own principles to her daughter, but the distance between her and her daughter has been narrowed as a result.

Li Ming epitomizes the early stage of womanhood in the film, and she represents the women who are required and defined in their student days or in the framework of society. Long hair is a symbol of beauty, and the love of beauty is considered to be the nature of women and even of human beings. As creators, we hope to use Dawn's identity to express that the pursuit of beauty is the basic right of every woman, or every human being, and that it should not be bound by unreasonable rules.

Lily Zhang is a seemingly strict teacher, but she loves her students. Because of her good education, she is often able to empathize with her students and put herself in their shoes. More profoundly, Lili Zhang represents the group of women that the creator expects to be well-educated and of good moral character, and who have the opportunity to have a voice in society.