Some films about the Yi


The Bimo Records - 2006
Director: Yang Rui (China)

This stunning observational film by a Chinese filmmaker focuses on the lives of three Bimo clergy of the Yi people, one of the ethnic minorities living in the Da Liangshan Mountains of China. In this remote landscape, festivals and religious traditions remain an integral part of Yi life, and the Bimo clergy conduct rituals that bridge the worlds between mortals and ghosts. The old ways seem safe here, shrouded in the mist, but assimilation and modernity are eroding the traditional ways.

Huayao Bride In Shangrila - 2005
Directed by: Zhang Jiarui.
Interpreted by: Cui Zheming, Yin Xiaotian, Zhang Jingchu.

The Nisu branch of the Yi (also known as Huayao Yi) have the custom that after wedding the bride will go back to her parents home, where she will live during three years. What in the film is a nuisance for a just married modern woman longing for a singing contest in Beijing, in the past it was a way to be sure that the bride can be slowly used tolive in her new family.

The Pact of the Yi Lake - 1996
Directed by Hao Guang and Wu Kuangwen.

In 1935, during the Long March, a weak Red Army, flying the Nationalist Army of Chinag Kaishek, arrived to Liangshan Mountains, in these years out of the Chinese government jurisdiction. The local headmen of the Yi living in Liangshan made an agreement with the Red Army generals to provide their help against the Kuomindang.

The Yi and the Fire -1991
Directed by: Li Hua

A documentary film about the life of the Yi living in Yunnan. It pays special attention to the relation between fire and men, the worship of fire in some Yi ceremonies and the development of the called "fire culture."

The Legend of the Daliang Mountains - 1988
Directed by Zhang Xihe.
Interpreted by: Cao Feng, Liu Gang, Jiang Hongyan

In 1863 an army of the Taiping Celestial Kingdom is defeated and massacred near the Liangshan Mountains. Ten years later the general of this army propose an alliance to the Yi tribal chief to get the arms they hided before their defeat…

Ashima - 1964
Directed by Liu Qiong

This is the story of the Ashima, the heroin of the Sani people, officially a branch of the Yi, that live east of Kunming, is the story of tragic love story frustrated by the intervention of the landlord. Very popular in China, almost every Chinese is familiar with this movie.

The sins of our fathers - 1949
Directed by Bu Wancang.
Interpreted by: Bao Fang, You Guangzhao, Li Ming

A battalion commander of the Peoples Liberation Army whose father was killed by the Yi twenty years ago, enters Liangshan Mountains to "liberate" the people. There he will find his former enemy. In the middle of these battles a love story is enfolded.

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