We’ve discovered the secret to getting a good turnout at our university screenings: food and extra credit! About 90 students attended the screening at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. Big kudos to Constantine Vaporis, Anna Shields, Rebecca Boehling and all the UMBC professors who got their students to come to the showing. They also did a fantastic job flyer-ing the campus with our Autumn Gem posters.
We got a number of insightful comments and questions from the students. One of them asked how Qiu Jin could be considered a feminist when she was shown to be rejecting her female identity at the same time she fought for women’s rights. Another student wanted to know whether or not Qiu Jin was trying to emulate the male heroic figure or create a modern female heroic figure. There’s no right or wrong answers to these questions. They point to the conflict within Qiu Jin and touch upon why she’s still such a fascinating person to study today.
Professor Boehling made the comment that the actresses playing Qiu Jin both wore makeup during the recreation scenes, even those where Qiu Jin is shown to be wearing Western clothing. She asked whether it was a deliberate decision on our part to do this. The answer is no, we honestly didn’t think too much about makeup during the filming of the documentary. We certainly could have had a stylist on-set to help make the makeup look more natural and less feminine. There were some instances where I used Apple’s Color program to desaturate the colors on the young Qiu Jin’s face, but in general, I generally left things as they were shot.
Following the screening, we went out to dinner at Catonsville Gourmet with Julie, a high school classmate of mine, and Professor Vaporis. Like I said in my earlier posts, we’re really enjoying this trip as we’re able to reconnect with friends and family whom we haven’t seen in many moons. After the next screening at George Mason University, we’ll be heading over to our nation’s capitol to meet up with more friends from high school and college!