About movie


Original title 生如夏花


A film about life in a courtyard in the southwestern China, The Time of Living focuses on three generations of women who share the historical closeness of family ties, while still their lives are going very different ways. The generational changes have come with the entry of “modernity” into their courtyard. Some of the impacts are hardly perceptible while others are profound and possibly divisive. Grandma enjoys the peace as an elderly Naxi woman, dressing in Naxi clothes, enjoying moments talking with her elderly companions, singing and dancing in an established way. She always has simple meals with grandpa and is satisfied with the joy and family love within the courtyard. Mom takes care of the family and takes responsibility for her children. Her role however, has traditionally been much broader and central to the overall well being of the family. She has her own opinion on her daughter\’s marriage, which has been a central family issue. In their village life she plays a very active role, helping family celebrations and trying to strengthen the sense of family. Another aspect of Mom\’s life shows how courtyard life of the Naxi has been colliding with the tide of modern tourism and urbanization, but Mom still treats the outside world peacefully, as in dance and song, or in the way she treats the farmland and farmers she relies upon for her family’s daily sustenance. However, the daughter A Liang\’s life goes very differently departing dramatically from how Grandpa and Grandma lived and live. She has grown away from Naxi “values”. She has taken a job in a bar in town, hanging out with her Han boyfriend instead of a Naxi boy and enjoying parties full of modern day exuberance, curiosity and vigor. She is planning marriage with her boyfriend and they are drawing sketches of their future. No matter how loved and adored she is by Mum and Grandma, A Liang is still growing away from the Naxi past and life in the cherished courtyard.

Author/s Jing Zhu

As a post graduate student of EAIVA (East Asia Institute of Visual Anthropology), the author has been taking comprehensive disciplines in Visual Anthropolgy, from theoretical knowleges, filmmaking skills and extensive fieldwork practices. The author chose this filming theme with her great passion and long-lasting interests.

Research Jing Zhu
Photography Jing Zhu
Sound Jing Zhu
Editing Jing Zhu