United States — A new short film from Chinese director Shae Xu. Aims to challenge her country’s boorish, at times, views on abortion. The movie is called “Yearning.” A drama short, that’s currently playing festivals across the globe. Its storyline spins on a young actress, whose greatest ambition is to travel to New York City and become a broadway performer. But an impromptu pregnancy, threatens to derail her dreams of stage and stardom. With her goal now in jeopardy, the aspiring ingenue finds herself burdened with the unenviable task of deciding to either abort the baby, or perhaps put a future filled with fame and fortune, on hold.
Synopsis: A Chinese actress decides to abort her baby before going off to pursue her dreams of Broadway in New York. Given pause from her close friends’ concerns with her decision, she wonders if it’s too late to change her mind.
“Yearning” is a Chinese language (Mandarin) film. And its coverage of other themes beyond abortion such as gender, and sexuality, helped it secure funding via the Robert Gore Rifkind Queer Production grant. Meantime in a statement, the film’s director explained how she structured the picture’s story as a commentary on the contrasting views of abortion in her adopted west, versus her native far east.
“Abortion is perceived extremely differently in China than in the US,” Xu reveals. “While American women fight for the right to choose. Chinese women are told that ‘aborting a child is just like losing a shoe.’ Through “Yearning,” I’d like to raise questions concerning the taboo of abortion as a daughter of China’s one-child generation and as an Asian woman living in the states.”
“Yearning” producer Yixuan Qi adds… “I adore the poetic expression of Shae. The story is told from a non-binary female actress’s perspective, and discusses abortion, female sexuality, and the relationship between “youth” and “womanhood.”