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500 Miles Away From Home

  • Qianhui Xu, Director/Producer
  • Jiuying Peng, Producer
  • Xhep Xhepa, Producer

A collage of old photos of a young child, with the text 500 Miles Away from Home superimposed on top

About the Project

Jiuying, a printmaker with Bi-Polar Disorder and in financial crisis, returns to her hometown to spend the holidays with her mother. The mother, Hengpei, who is obsessed with bodybuilding, wants to help her daughter through this difficult time by leading her in her exercise regimen. Out of abomination to Hengpei's past controlling nature and resistance to display her body publicly, Jiuying yells at Hengpei in the gym. Surprisingly, instead of retaliating with insults like the irascible mother in Jiuying’s memory, Hengpei reflects on her behavior, which eventually prompts Jiuying to choose a method that is acceptable for both of them: Communicating their deepest feelings by dancing ballroom dance. During this process Hengpei gradually reveals a side of herself that people never knew outside of her motherly role.