Christian Chinese Director Wins Best Documentary Award
Li Guang's Home of Mephibosheth won Best Documentary at the 2019 International Christian Film and Music Festival.
By: London House (Beijing) International Media
Home of Mephibosheth is a poignant, life affirming story of severely disabled children in China, abandoned from birth by their parents and forgotten by the society. Rescued from physical and emotional neglect by the care of a Chinese Christian, Xin Wei, and her American husband Steve, the documentary drama portrays the children's recovery from trauma as they discover family love for the very first time. Narrated with captivating sincerity, Xin Wei tells the story of how she first encountered children in a pitiful state in an orphanage and felt compelled to take care of them by a divine force that turned her own life upside down. Never doubting that God would find a way to support the endeavour, Xin Wei and Steve at first adopted orphans, and then went on to build their own orphanage to accommodate more children who desperately needed help.
Set against the backdrop of the remote and harsh environment of wild Shandong, we see how in even the most bleak conditions life can flourish, and beauty can emerge. The transformation of the landscape with the onset of spring is the documentary's visual metaphor. Children who were previously paralysed by their physical, mental and emotional disability, gradually blossom as their complex medical needs are taken care of. Through selfless loving care by a dedicated team of volunteers, they also learn to look after each other and live as a Christian family. This is a story of incredible sacrifice and courage; and of the power of love to change lives.
Director Li Guang is a MFA graduate in Film Directing from Beijing Film Academy. When she finished her undergraduate study in film directing at Beijing Normal University in 1999, she went on to become Zhang Yimou's assist in the film Hero, having already established herself professionally by working with Zhang on Not One Less and Happy Times.
Li Guang started this docudrama project in 2012. More than 600 hours of raw shooting material by various cameramen, spanning 16 years in real time, eventually made their way to her. This film was edited from about a hundred hours of footage, with sequels to be released soon.
From her perspective as a dedicated Christian, Li Guang sees the whole project as being guided by the Holy Spirit. The film has also changed her own life dramatically. Previously, she was afraid of marriage and family life, but during the filming she met her husband - the producer of the film Chen Zhongshi- went on to have two children with him, and has become a mother of four. For Li Guang, the project, and her own life are all God's plan, and she was very honoured to play her part in bringing this exceptional story to life for an international audience.