The first film in Yi language


On Nov 2013 the first fiction film filmed entirely in Yi language was premiered at Chengdu’s Southwest University for Nationalities.

The production of this film can have great significance in the modern development of Yi language and culture.  My own field experiences in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture showed that if written materials in Yi language were already scarce and poorly distributed, fiction films, to which the Yi folk are very fond, were completely inexistent.  The shooting of a traditional story well known to the Yi audiences in their native language, is hoped to wake the excitement of the Yi public, opening a door for further productions in their language.

The plot of the story, adapted from a well known Yi folk tale, narrates that long time ago a very beautiful woman lived in an Yi stronghold. Her name was

Buashigawei, as the film. One day, the local governor or tusi, out in a hunting expedition, met with Buashigawei. He felt immediately seduced by the beauty of the woman, and he thought that the best way to get her would be sending his soldiers to kidnap her. Knowing of the incoming raid Buashigawei disappeared.

The Tusi soldiers pursued her to her brothers home, were after killing the brother who tried to defend his sister, they took Buashigawei away. Buashigawei’s father, tat also follow the Tusi’s soldiers to defend his daughter, is also killed. Only the younger brother saves his life and avoids this disaster. He flies to inform the young warrior Lada, the boyfriend of Buashigawei, of the kidnapping of the young lady.
After know these news Lada will gather their mountain allieds to make a final stand against the tusi’s forces.

This film will remain in the story of Yi culture as the first film that the Yi people shot themselves, directed themselves, based on a screenplay written by them, interpreted by themselves and produced by themselves.  

Buashigawei. 2013.

Directed by:  Gusa Yangwan.
Screenplay by: Qiesawuniu.
Producted by: Shamaniuniu.
Main interpreters:  Jihu Yimu.

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