Women at the Wheel

Fang Yu
China, Germany 2006 | 72 Min. | BetaSP, OmU
Q&A with: Fang Yu

”If there is a life after this, I’d rather be a dog than a human” says a taxi driver from the Chi­nese town Xian. “To be a human being is very exhaust­ing. “ Indeed, the women - often spend­ing more than ten hours per day behind a steer­ing wheel - are sub­ject to very strict reg­u­la­tions. A large part of their earn­ing goes to the taxi admin­is­tra­tion, and the police 54 col­lects very high fines, if they park out­side the specif­i­cal­ly des­ig­nat­ed park­ing areas. Almost daily new fees are intro­duced such as ”bridge duties” or ”clean­ing taxes”, and the number of rob­beries has increased dra­mat­i­cal­ly. Film­mak­er Fang Yu por­trays three female taxi dri­vers, explores their life sto­ries and asks for their motives for doing this job. His film is an homage to the art of sur­vival in hard times: ”We don’t believe in God or Satan, we just believe in us.”