The funeral for Chinese film director Xie Jin (谢晋) held yesterday afternoon at the Longhua Funeral Parlour attracted 10,000 people — a crowd that included both ordinary citizens and celebrities according to Xinhua.
Xie Jin achieved prominence through his debut work in 1957, Woman Basketball Player No. 5 《女篮五号》which was China’s first coloured sports movie and won several awards overseas. In 1965, his internationally acclaimed film Two Stage Sisters《舞台姐妹》won prizes everywhere but was severely criticised at home for advocating the “reconciliation of the social classes”. His parents were said to have committed suicide amidst the political pressure — his mother leapt off a building and his father overdosed on sleeping pills and he had to collect their bodies himself.
His next big break came in 1982 (shortly after Deng Xiaoping’s policy of reform and opening up) with his film The Herdsman 《牧马人》which attracted a record audience of 150 million people. Xinhua notes that President Hu Jintao and other top Chinese leaders have “expressed their mourning for Xie in different ways”.