"Hooligan Sparrow" centers on a horrible crime that took place in 2013: A school principal and a member of the education bureaucracy abducted six female students 11 to 14 years of age, took them to a hotel and sexually assaulted them over a 24-hour period. When parents and their supporters demanded justice, the perpetrators insisted the girls were prostitutes. Sparrow (activist Ye Haiyan) is joined in her support for the abused schoolgirls by Wang Yu, one of the very few female lawyers who specialize in human rights in China. Both would suffer greatly for their activism. Frank discussions of sex and inappropriate physical contact are taboo subjects in China, and sex education programs are limited. Ye Haiyan's protest in Hainan brought a conversation about sexual assault to mainstream news outlets, and more cases were uncovered following this new awareness. Despite campaigns of intimidation and surveillance by the police, Sparrow made sure her small protests would get maximum attention. She carried a sign taunting the prime suspect that read, 'Hey principal, get a room with me. Leave the kids alone!' A video of Sparrow and her message went viral. She definitely got the authorities' attention. Filmmaker Nanfu Wang, who won the 2016 International Documentary Association's Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award, was not spared official harassment either. Her life was threatened and some of her footage confiscated, though she was still able to piece together her documentary by fleeing on trains and buses in the dead of night and smuggling the remaining footage out of the country in August 2013. Winner of a 2016 Peabody Award.
This screening is part of the Cinema Politique, a film screening and discussion series that explores politics with an international perspective. This series is a collaboration between the University of Georgia Libraries and the School of Public and International Affairs.
The screening will be held in Room 250 of the Miller Learning Center.