Red and GreenSha Bihong (Excerpt)
If women cannot use their wisdom to fight,
these women are vulnerable groups.
In order to shoot an abducted woman, Sha Bihong and her colleagues hiked over 14 mountains. They traveled across a dozen provinces and dozens of villages, wearing out nine cloth shoes. Xi’an was in great drought that year, facing water shortage around the province. Under a high temperature of over 40 degrees every day, she got so sunburnt that her skin peeled. Sha Bihong decided to use most original images to show those soul-stirring scenes, so as to create the original sound effects including car noises on the street, whistles in the railway station, bell rings in the classroom…
Since then, Sha Bihong has directed more than 500 documentaries and feature films. Whenever she shot impoverished people in remote regions, she would leave some money to them. She and her brothers and sisters are also providing financial aid for poor children to go to school.
She says she often could vaguely see mother smile, which is her power forever. In this sense, she thinks that a person would not truly die. She regards herself as the continuation of her mother’s spirit.
As she returned to China, her income had changed from over thirty thousand yuan to over one thousand yuan every month. Her friends said she was crazy.
In the early 1994, Sha Bihong gave up her material life and directing work gained in Germany and chose to return to China to act as journalist, writer and director for XIV Half the Sky program. Her financial income had changed from over thirty thousand yuan to over one thousand yuan every month. Her friends said she was crazy.
After returning to Beijing, she had been working for the program Half the Sky in CCTV for six years. In the six years, all her TV works focused on a same theme: caring for education, vulnerable groups and the living condition of women and children. She acted as writer, director and interviewer for One Dream for Generations of Women, which moved all judges into tears. She is called Queen of Sensation in the directing circle, but she always objects to relying too much on sensationalism, saying that injecting true feelings and sensationalism are two entirely different things.
“Many people know that I care for education. Education is also important for men, but especially important for women’s lives. Moreover, the importance of education depends on its development of one’s wisdom. If women cannot use their wisdom to fight, they are vulnerable groups. If a man could not use his wisdom to fight with the society, he still could use his physical strength for he has a powerful body.” If women cannot control their lives with wisdom, they would become psychologically dependent on men. Thus their minds are not free followed by suffering and tears, and they become vulnerable groups.
So I advocate independent personality, which I have done myself. Since I got married, I have had no economic ties with my husband considering my own side. When I studied in Germany, I also made money through my own work. After being married for ten years, my husband often says to me: “Falling in love with you is the luckiest thing to me.” Now I still often receive roses from my husband. The only difference is that love letters in the past have changed into text messages, which I still think good. What’s important is to feel the existence and quality of love.
She thinks that a person would not truly die. She regards herself as the continuation of her mother’s spirit.
In 2000, she gave up the chance of acting as chief director of a documentary, high reward and an arranged trip to Germany. Instead, she went to remote and impoverished mountainous regions and spent months in tracing and shooting human trafficking campaigns launched by public security officers.
Now Sha Bihong acts as hostess of the CCTV-10 program Story, executive editor of special programs and chief director of 100-episode public service advertisement Inventions and Discoveries. Talking about this Inventions and Discoveries, she says two years later, she wants to turn it into an encyclopedia with
music and picture that both adults and children love to see, just like Hundred Thousand Whys many years ago.
I went to see Sha Bihong do a program about a two-year-old child unfortunately killed in an accident. A journalist on the scene talked about the accident slowly as interviewer, while Sha Bihong listened quietly and asked questions. The most impressive moment was when the TV studio was silent. The atmosphere seemed to have frozen in silence. It was the sorrowful mind of a person being unexpectedly hit. However, for the sake of a well-knit program, those silent moments when Sha Bihong was not talking would be cut in the future. But you cannot see as much as I do.