Santa Clara and Hayward Public Libraries Screening Recap


We’re just hours away from boarding a plane to Hong Kong for our final screenings for 2011. Last week, we had two screenings in public libraries in the San Francisco Bay Area. We showed the film at the Santa Clara City Library and the Hayward Public Library.

Though I’m writing this as I’m furiously packing, it was nice to have some local screenings for a change. The Santa Clara library is five minutes from our house and is the library that we personally go to. Both screenings had very enthusiastic crowds who posed many questions when the lights came back up. We’ve been showing a version of the film that has Chinese subtitles during the spoken English sections. We’ve been working on this version for the past several months in anticipation of our Hong Kong trip.

We’ll be scheduling more screenings at local libraries around the Bay Area in 2012. Check our screenings page for a full list or join our mailing list to get quarterly updates.

And now for some photos from Santa Clara and Hayward.

2011 Fall Update



AUTUMN GEM will have its first Asia showing in Hong Kong next month! We’ll also have events in the Bay Area and Southern California. Check below to see if we’re headed to a venue near you. For detailed information, visit

September 22: Cerritos Public Library.
September 24: San Marino Chinese Club.
September 24: West Covina Library.
September 24: California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks
September 25: Fullerton Library.
September 27: Diamond Bar Library.

October 3: Santa Clara City Library.
October 5: Hayward Public Library.

October 24: City University of Hong Kong.
October 24: Hong Kong Baptist University.
October 25: University of Hong Kong.
October 26: Chinese University of Hong Kong.
October 27: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
October 28: Hong Kong Institute of Education.

If you have friends in the area, please let them know. Feel free to invite them to an event on our Facebook page:


Li Jing, the star of AUTUMN GEM, recently opened a new martial arts school in Temple CIty, CA. Wushu Action Star Academy is “a world class martial arts training center providing instruction in Wushu and Taichi.” The school held their Grand Opening Celebration on September 10 and is currently enrolling students of all ages and levels.

As some of you may know, Li Jing was Rae’s first wushu coach at UC Berkeley, and we’re excited to hear she’s teaching again! For those of you living in Southern California, here’s your chance to learn from “Qiu Jin” herself!


October 10, 2011 marks the 100th year anniversary of the Chinese Revolution, the cause Qiu Jin devoted her life to. China is celebrating this momentous occasion with several events and exhibitions, including two major films that include Qiu Jin. 1911 is a historical drama directed by and starring Jackie Chan, and will feature Qiu Jin as a supporting character. The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake is a full-length feature on Qiu Jin, directed by Hong Kong filmmaker Herman Yau. Check out a scene-by-scene comparison of AUTUMN GEM with this new film here:

Hong Kong Feature Film on Qiu Jin

1911 will be released in China on September 23. The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake opens in Hong Kong on October 13. For those of you in the area, go see the films and let us know what you think of their portrayals of Qiu Jin.


Four years, three countries, and over a hundred screenings later, we’ve finally broken even on the film! Our next step is getting it aired on public television. We are currently looking into local cable channels and educational distributors such as NETA (National Educational Telecommunications Association).

Hong Kong Feature Film on Qiu Jin to be Released


A new feature film on Qiu Jin called “The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake” is opening this week in Hong Kong. It’s directed by Herman Yau and stars Huang Yi as Qiu Jin and veteran actor Anthony Wong as a Qing Dynasty official.

Check out the trailer here:

And here’s our version:

Somehow I think they had a bigger budget. I thought it’d be fun to compare stills from their version with ours. What do you think – any similarities?

Qiu Jin – The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake

Portrayed by Huang Yi (left) and Li Jing (right):

Qiu Jin with swordQiu Jin with sword

Gender Bender

Male attire suits her well.

Qiu Jin in man's suitQiu Jin in man's suit

Wedding Woes

Qiu Jin isn’t too happy with her arranged marriage.

Qiu Jin in arranged marriageQiu Jin in arranged marriage

Family Portrait

At least her husband and kids look like they’re having fun on the left.

Qiu Jin and familyQiu Jin and family

A Talented Writer

Writing was central to Qiu Jin’s life and I’m glad to see this element depicted in the new film. I noticed they include a voice-over of her poetry in the trailer, as we do in ours.

Qiu Jin writingQiu Jin writing

Stirring up Revolutionary Fires in Japan

Qiu Jin in JapanQiu Jin in Japan

Arrest Qiu Jin!

Arrest Qiu JinArrest Qiu Jin

Qiu Jin Makes Her Final Stand

I think their budget could afford more than our four soldiers for the final battle scene:

Qiu Jin Resisting ArrestQiu Jin Resisting Arrest

“The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake” opens on August 25 in Hong Kong. We’ll be showing AUTUMN GEM in Hong Kong as well October 24-28 – check out the full list of screenings here. We’re looking forward to watching the feature film while we’re there – it’ll be interesting to see their version of Qiu Jin!

World Journal Article on San Diego Chinese Historical Museum Screening


Here is the World Journal newspaper’s coverage of our screening at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum last Saturday. Reporter Daming Lee wrote about our first major public event at La Jolla Country Day School in May 2009.




兩位年輕人不顧資金匱乏、經驗不足,說幹就幹。他們走遍秋瑾故里浙江紹興,請教研究秋瑾的中外學者,終於在2009年完成這部長達一小時的傳記紀錄片,並在聖地牙哥的私立中學「La Jolla Country Day School」首映,受到許多好評。



Female Circumcision and Footbinding


I was alerted to an article in the New York Times recently about female genital mutilation (also known as female circumcision) in Africa. Young girls are taken to a “cutter” who carves out their clitoris and labia with a razor, then stitches the flesh back together, leaving a small opening for urination and menstruation. The purpose is for ensuring chastity and “lowering the sex drive of our daughters,” according to one practitioner.

The reporter notes that this is “a form of oppression that women themselves embrace and perpetuate.” I’m reminded of the similarities with footbinding. Women were the ones who carried out the process within the family (usually the mother or grandmother), and they were often the most resistant to change when the practice began to fall out of favor. In fact, even after it was officially banned in 1912, it would continue for over 30 years afterwards, perpetuated by women themselves.

While female genital mutilation is currently illegal in several African and Middle Eastern countries, it is still practiced widely and has even found its way to the U.S. Let’s hope it will be eradicated soon, and, like footbinding, seen as the inhumane violence against women that it is.

Cinematic Celebrations of Centenary


In addition to Jackie Chan’s film 1911, Taiwan is producing an animated feature on Sun Yat-sen and his comrades to commemorate the 1911 Revolution centenary. I grabbed a couple screenshots from the trailer featuring Qiu Jin:

She looks a bit like Li Jing (maybe it’s the similar poses).

Here’s a portrait of Qiu Jin as played by Ning Jing in the Jackie Chan film. I like the androgynous quality of her face set against the traditional feminine dress.

Both films are set to be released later this year. It’ll be interesting to see how our heroine is depicted in these versions!

A Century of Change: China 1911-2011


The Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford University is celebrating the 100 years anniversary of the 1911 Revolution with a new exhibit featuring archival materials and audiovisual media from its collection, as well as a few props from AUTUMN GEM in its section on “Reformers and Revolutionaries.” Adam and I attended the reception and were impressed with the scope of the exhibit, covering the momentous changes during this critical period in Chinese history.

We were treated to a special viewing of the original diaries of Chiang Kai-shek, on display for one day only during the reception. The diaries were loaned to the Hoover Archives in 2005 by members of the Chiang family for preservation purposes and are rarely shown in public.

Also on display was a section about the Rape of Nanking and the work of Iris Chang. We had the pleasure of meeting her parents there, whom we found out had ties to both our families. They were good friends of my aunt and uncle in Illinois, as well as Adam’s uncle in New Jersey. Small world! Ying-Ying Chang, Iris’ mother, recently wrote a memoir of her daughter, “The Woman Who Could Not Forget.” She’ll be giving a book reading in the Bay Area in mid-May, which we’re looking forward to.

The Hoover exhibit will be on display through March 2012. It’s a fascinating look into China’s emergence as a modern nation and is worth checking out.

“A Century of Change: China 1911-2011”
Herbert Hoover Memorial Exhibit Pavilion
(adjacent to Hoover Tower)
Stanford University
Open Tuesday – Saturday
11:00am – 4:00pm
Free admission