Lotus-5-footbinding-Lisa-AprilFor more than thirty centuries, women in China were maimed and crippled in the name of beauty and obedience. The custom was called “footbinding,” and the fight against it triggered one of the biggest, most overlooked struggle for human rights in history.Lotus is a half-hour narrative film set in this turmoil.

The place is rural 1914 China and the film focuses on Lotus, a traditional woman with bound feet who must decide whether or not to bind her daughter Joy’s feet. Her strict, but loving Mother-in-law insists that Joy’s feet be bound in order to guarantee her a secure future. Lotus, for the first time in her life does not blindly obey. She is further influenced by her good friend, Coral, a colorful performer with a traveling Cantonese opera troupe who openly challenges the outlawed custom. In the end, Lotus makes a decision which will change her daughter’s life forever.

Lotus-6-oil-lamp-LuciaStarring as the beautiful Lotus, and also composing the soundtrack is Private Music recording artist, Lucia Hwong. Hwong appeared in and scored the Tony-Awarding winning Broadway production of M. Butterfly. Playing the role of Mother-in-law is veteran actress, Lisa Lu, real-life mother of Hwong. Lu is the winner of three Chinese Oscars and starred in Joy Luck Club as one of three mothers and played the Empress Dowager in the The Last Emperor.

Lotus was shot in vivid 35mm film on location in the remote village of Luk Keng, a mile under the China border in Hong Kong. Directing this independent production was Peabody Award winner and Oscar nominated filmmaker, Arthur Dong. The American Film Institute funded film was produced by Dong and Rebecca Soladay who also wrote the screenplay.

DVD special features include:

  • Letterboxed widescreen version
  • Gallery of archival photos showing women with bound feet
  • A showcase of vintage bound feet shoes
  • Production photos gallery