Spilled Water explores how the economic transformation of China is changing the roles, rights, and social status of its women. Wanting to connect with her ‘distant sisters’, decades after emigrating to the United States, May May Tchao returns to China and explores the very different lives of four women: a young rural farmer who against all odds, became a teacher; a successful lawyer in a male-dominated profession juggling her work with single motherhood; a divorced factory worker struggling to brighten her daughter’s future; and a Dongzu ethnic minority singer torn between her dreams and her responsibilities as a peasant’s wife. From the urban hustle of Beijing to the desolate beauty of rural provinces, their intimate stories unveil why gender equality in China is so hard-earned and worth the struggle.
May May Tchao was born in China, raised in Hong Kong, and a U.S. citizen. May May Tchao’s worked in advertising with blue chip clients in creative and consulting positions in Chicago for several decades. She started filmmaking in 2009 wanting to give voice to Chinese women. Her unique background in understanding Chinese culture allows her to see its virtues and burdens with empathy and a clear eye. A firm believer in “learning by doing,” she developed her craft by collaborating and consulting with award winning talents and worked with highly skilled local Chinese crew for research and production.
May May Tchao