Screened as part of NZIFF 2006

Oxhide 2005

Niu pi

Directed by Liu Jiayan

Compelling minimalism sees first-time writer/director skewer floundering patriarchal authority (her dad!) in a 50-square-metre Beijing apartment.

China In Mandarin with English subtitles
110 minutes Beta-SP

Screenplay, Photography, Editor, Producer


Liu Zaiping
Jia Huifen
Liu Jiayin


Vancouver 2005


In just 23 cramped, fixed-angle shots of herself and her parents in their 50-square-metre home in Beijing, first-time writer/director Liu Jiayin creates a wickedly telling, slyly funny microcosm of a social order obliged to honour floundering patriarchal authority. Liu’s father, Liu Zaiping, makes and sells leather bags, but is slowly going bankrupt. Humiliated by the exigencies of the market economy, he bickers constantly with his more pragmatic wife and daughter, quarrelling with their ‘face-losing’ suggestions for boosting business in the shop.

“An unexpectedly compelling piece of ‘minimalism’… Everything from the choice of incidents to the composition and duration of the shots… is scrupulously considered and planned. It may not be fiction, but it’s definitely art.” — Tony Rayns

“Liu loves a punch-line. Though she’s chosen a rigorous form, Oxhide is genuinely funny… Confidently and stunningly radical… Oxhide stands out from the multitudes of digital films that bubble up every month from the astonishingly fertile cultural well of present-day Beijing.” — Shelly Kraicer, Cinema Scope