Courtisane 2017: Ku qian [Bitter Money] (Wang Bing, 2016)

Friday, March 31, 2017 - 13:00 to 15:45
KASKcinema, Gent


What’s your next move?

Traveling, shooting, editing, more traveling, more shooting, more editing.


In Ta’ang people always talk about money and money is always shown. In Bitter Money people always talk about money but money is never shown.

I am not sure this fact you highlight was intentional on my part. But I would like to talk about the title Bitter Money for a minute. The title is very important and it was chosen carefully. In Huzhou ‘bitter money’ is a slang expression that workers use to say ‘I am going away from home to work.’ It is a very common way of saying in this city, everyone uses it. Coming from Northern China, I had never heard of this expression before, and I was curious about it. So over the course of the shooting, I understood why they call work bitter money: all these workers have migrated to Huzhou from other regions, with the hope of making money. The word ‘bitter’ alludes to the discriminations that the individual has to face when he is away from his native place, the hardships and sadness a person has to face when he is away from home to earn money, working like hell all day, every day, with no personal life whatsoever. You can see the money or you cannot see it, but it is the ‘bitter’ taste of money I am interested in.

From ‘Interview: Wang Bing’ by Michael Guarneri and Jin Wang


Read more about Wang Bing elsewhere on, in English and Dutch


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