UNDER THE BURNING SUN
A FILM BY YUN XIE
Under The Burning Sun began with an intimate moment between me and my mother. While she was being treated for late-stage Alzheimer's, I sat at her beside and noticed a scar -- long and deep along her stomach -- a scar left by a hysterectomy (the surgical removal the uterus, 'the womb'). I remembered the day after her surgery, she asked me: "Am I still a woman?"
Everything was quiet. I didn't have an answer.
Ten years later, I still don't have one.
Under The Burning Sun asks the same questions and more:
"What does it mean to be a woman?"
"What does it mean to not have a choice?"
I hope that, through this story, its world, and its protagonist,
we can move closer to answers to questions like these.
Under The Burning Sun follows a young woman named Mowanza as she fights to find an abortion in a land where they are outlawed. When she hears of a nearby land with a lenient abortion policy, Mowanza, with only her water bottle and beat-up car for company, sets out on a journey to find herself again.
2023 // 85 MINS
Born In Shanxi, China, based In Los Angeles. She initially started telling stories as a journalist before going on to study Theater Directing at the Shanghai Theater Academy and Film Directing at the School Of Visual Arts in NYC.
Yun's directorial debut film, The Still Life, co-written with Oscar-winning screenwriter Alexander Dinelaris, won the Remi Award at the WorldFest Houston International Film Festival. In 2016, she co-directed the feature film, Truth or Dare, which was nominated for Best Picture at the Syracuse International Film Festival. Her short film, Pier Las Vegas, was invited to several international film festivals including the FIRST International Film Festival Xining. On The non-fiction side, her documentary series, Why We Dance, was an Official Selection at the St.Louis International Film Festival and American Documentary Film Festival. Yun was also awarded “Top Ten Outstanding Chinese American Youth” in the Los Angeles Post.
STEPHANIE PARDI AS "MOWANZA"
Early 20s, haggard, a lone wolf at the end of her rope. Years of mistreatments and assaults from men had left her numb and mistrusting. Yet, even within the unbearable wasteland where she resides, she finds glimmers of hope within the few women she encounters, and gives her the strength to escape the hellhole she once called home.
STEVIE KIN AS "MAVIS"
40s, unkempt and drained. Though she works as a car mechanic, her labor-intensive job isn't the source of her misery- it's the violence and abuse from her husband. She is worn down to her bones by her grim life.