A haunting experience, Wang Bing's Mrs. Wang is a documentary which stares deeply into the existential abyss. A merciless film detailing Fang Xiu Ying, a sixty-seven year old whom is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, Bing's latest documentary is an unintrusive, observational study which is as life-affirming as it's soul-crushing, exhibiting how fleeting life truly is, and the unflinching, nature of existence itself. Bing's lens is unsentimental and provocative in its ability to gaze dispassionately into the glazed eyes of this dying woman, a challenging experience for the viewer but one that pushes us into a contemplative, existential state, as we, the viewer, attempt to grapple with what we've just experienced. Eschewing a one-note dire, stoic experience by not only documenting Mrs. Fang, but also her family, neighbors, and friends, Wang Bing's film feels expansive yet intimate, exhibiting not only the impending death which enshrouds this town, but also the lives whom continue to live and hope for the best. Wang Bing's Mrs. Fang gives more than ample time to the environment in which these characters inhabit, what appears to be primarily a fishing village, juxtaposing the tranquil place with that of the small, quiet approach of death. Raw in its emotion, yet transcendent in its ability to document life and death, Wang Bing's Mrs. Fang is another stellar documentary from the Chinese filmmaker, which manages to challenge both emotionally and intellectually.
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