Hu Xin writing Nushu wide shot - Photo by Feng Tiebing. Young Chinese woman writing on a table covered with scrolls.


Shemin Auditorium, Shaffer Art Building

Hidden Letters

Violet Du Feng and Zhao Qing

(China/Germany/USA/Norway, 2022, 86 min, Mandarin with English subtitles)

Virtual Q&A with the filmmakers

The documentary stories of two Chinese women trying to balance their lives as independent women in contemporary China while confronting the traditional identity that defines but also oppresses them. Connected through their love for Nushu—a centuries-old secret text shared amongst women in a clandestine support system of sisterhood and survival—Hu Xin and Simu grapple with the possibilities of transformative self-realization and the Chinese state’s attempts to commodify this vital, if long overlooked, cultural tradition of women’s resistance. 

One-line description: Nushu, a centuries-old secret text created by Chinese women, promises modern female empowerment, but also commercial exploitation by the government.

Website and trailer: https://www.hiddenlettersfilm.com