About the Film


中文 – English


With all my heart I beseech and beg
my two hundred million female compatriots
to assume their responsibility as citizens.
Arise! Arise! Chinese women, arise!
– Qiu Jin

Meet the “Chinese Joan of Arc,” Qiu Jin (秋瑾) (1875-1907), a radical women’s rights activist who defied tradition to become the leader of a revolutionary army. Qiu Jin boldly challenged traditional gender roles and demanded equal rights and opportunities for women. She was the first woman to lead an armed uprising against the corrupt Qing Dynasty, for which she was arrested and executed. She became the first female martyr for China’s 1911 Revolution and is celebrated as a national heroine today.

While Qiu Jin is a familiar figure in China, she is largely unknown outside of the country. AUTUMN GEM is the first documentary feature on Qiu Jin in the U.S. Using scholar interviews, archival materials, and dramatic recreation scenes based on her original writings, AUTUMN GEM brings the story of Qiu Jin to life.

AUTUMN GEM was produced and directed by two San Francisco Bay Area Chinese American filmmakers, Rae Chang and Adam Tow. It stars former China National Wushu Champion and Hollywood stunt actress Li Jing. Our partners include the San Francisco Chinese Culture Center, San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, and the Official Qiu Jin Museum in Shaoxing, China.


Click here to see media articles about the film:


“Thank you for giving a GREAT presentation here at Oldfields!  I have heard back from both students and faculty that your presentation was one of the best ever.  It was wonderful for the girls to learn about Autumn Gem and to also be inspired by your’s and Adam’s life.”
– Maria Vaporis
Librarian and Geography teacher
Oldfields School (Girls’ boarding school in Baltimore County, MD)

“The film sparked a lot of discussion, and people were truly appreciative of the chance to hear from the filmmakers first-hand. Your determination and sense of adventure in taking this on is truly admirable.”
– Gail Hershatter
Distinguished Professor of History
University of California, Santa Cruz

“Your script is clean and crisp and the presentation is simple and elegant with no wasted footage.  Congratulations for having produced this interesting piece of documentary.”
– Paula Chow
Director, Davis International Center
Princeton University

“The documentary is beautiful and quite an eye opener as we didn’t realize China had any feminists as early as the beginning of the twentieth century or any time for that matter.”
– Margaret Benson
American Association of University Women – San Jose chapter

“Thank you so much for bringing your film to us! I was so pleased with the good turnout and the good questions in the discussion session.”
– Barbara Molony
Professor and Chair, Department of History
Santa Clara University

“The documentary is beautifully crafted.  The song Whole River Red was most appropriate…My husband and I deeply appreciate the time and effort you and everyone in your crew have put into this work.  I will certainly tell my daughter about this.”
– Ann Lau
Chair, Visual Artists Guild – Los Angeles chapter

“Thank you so much for bringing your documentary to my class and we did have a discussion on it in class today…It was very good quoting from Qiu Jin’s own poems, revealing her inner emotions in the different phases of her life. We also talked about her sacrifice to the revolution. Some agreed that it was worthwhile for devoting her life, because there were few women who can be remembered in history to dedicate their life to call on people to fight against the dark times. So on the whole, they did benefit from your documentary, knowing more about the first Chinese feminist–Qiu Jin.”
– Dianna Dan Liu
Professor, Modern Chinese Literature
George Mason University

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