Special Screenings
Traveling Festival

The Blood of Yingzhou District

(39 minutes) China/USA
Director: Ruby Yang
Producer: Thomas Lennon

No one knows how old Gao Jun is. Four? Older? Younger? Whatever his biological age, he has none of the verbal babble, or ready tears, of a child his age. The film tracks this orphan for a year as his closest surviving kin - his uncles - weigh what to do with him. The older uncle's dilemma: if he allows his children to play with Gao Jun, who is HIV-positive, they will be ostracized by terrified neighbors. The younger uncle's dilemma: so long as Gao Jun remains in the house, the young man may not be able to find a wife. Gao Jun is one of just a handful of children we come to know in this film: Nan Nan who after her parents' death, was shunned by relatives and left to live without adult care, with "Little Flower," her teen-age sister; and the Huang siblings who vividly describe their ostracism at school. The result of misinformation about the nature of the disease, the suffering of these orphans is all the more devastating for being largely unnecessary.

Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon met five years ago on Becoming American: The Chinese Experience, the acclaimed Bill Moyers series on PBS; Yang was Series Editor, Lennon the Series Producer and lead writer. Since 2003, they have been working on a range of public service campaigns and documentaries about AIDS in China, with Chinese audiences their primary target.

Yang, originally from Hong Kong, has explored a range of Asian American themes as director and editor, of which many are Emmy award winning documentaries. She is now based in Beijing, directing public service announcements and documentaries for Chinese television and international audiences. Yang is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including a Kaiser Media Fellow in 2004 for developing her work on HIV/AIDS.

Lennon is currently directing a PBS series on the Supreme Court. He has won national Emmys and George Foster Peabody Awards (twice each), a DuPont-Columbia, and an Academy Award nomination.

Contact Information:
Thomas Lennon Films

©2006 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)


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