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Chinese documentary ‘Mrs. Fang’ a highlight of Locarno Festival in Los Angeles

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A scene from the movie “Mrs. Fang.”
(Memento Films International)
Film Critic

“Unflinching” is a common enough word in critical discourse, but few artists earn it as fully as the Chinese documentary filmmaker Wang Bing. His movies, which include “West of the Tracks” and “’Til Madness Do Us Part,” are portraits of a rapidly moving China but also epic studies in concentration and duration, their often multi-hour running times inseparable from their grueling power.

Wang’s latest, “Mrs. Fang,” runs a relatively short 86 minutes but nevertheless seems to brush up against the infinite. Capturing a woman’s steady decline from Alzheimer’s disease and the family that has gathered around her, it’s a simple, cumulatively shattering record of life as we rarely see it captured in narrative or documentary cinema.

“Mrs. Fang” is screening Saturday as part of this weekend’s Locarno Festival in Los Angeles, a welcome selection of pictures from last year’s Locarno Film Festival, where Wang’s film won the top prize.

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‘Mrs. Fang’

Where: Downtown Independent, 251 S. Main St., Los Angeles

When: Saturday, April 7, 4 p.m.

Price: $12

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Info: www.locarnoinlosangeles.com

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justin.chang@latimes.com | Twitter: @JustinCChang


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