The Ugly Mandarin
Feature
90 mins
English, Mandarin Chinese, French, Czech, Slovak
Production: Veronika Kuhrova, Analog Vision
Status: In development

Making a foreign land home somehow is less hard than staying there legally as a third-world citizen, freshly graduated from school, 26-year-old Chinese sculptor Yiou has to leave if she couldn’t figure out a “purpose” of staying. At this very moment, she falls in love, but with someone who is leaving. On the other hand, a young Slovak doctor Greta has fallen in love with Yiou and is ready to stand in for the spouse visa which could help Yiou to stay. This time, freedom and love are standing on the opposite sides.

Workshop: Midpoint Feature Launch 2018
Award: Coco Award of Karlovy Vary FF’s Industrial program
Pitched: Karlovy Vary FF, Connecting Cottbus, Torino Queer FF

This film is beyond fictional story to me. As the main character Yiou, I moved initially to Prague to study but later on found there a new home. By the time of the ending of my studies, the struggle started. Few foreign people manage to stay because they don't find a satisfying work. The ones, who are in a relationship with an EU citizen, can apply for the spouse visa. The visa application seems to be nothing more than a pile of forms and documents. Somehow, during the application process, the ideas of freedom, home as well as love are being re-examined.

I was curious about how the political system and bureaucracy dictate someone’s personal life: specifically, how the permit, which is merely a thin piece of paper, influences a person psychologically, and how globalization has an impact on one’s cultural identity. Yiou's home exists between two lands, while love and freedom confronts each other. Is it selfish and wrong to fight for the so-called freedom over anything else? This is the question to which I hope to find the answer through this atypical love story.