CIFF Review: Finding yingying

“Finding Yingying” (2020) had its Chicago premiere at the 56th Annual Chicago International Film Festival. The documentary follows the extensive, heart-wrenching search for Yingying Zhang, a 26 year old Chinese student at a university in Illinois who went missing from a bus stop just weeks after moving to the United States. Director Jiayan ‘Jenny’ Shi began filming the search for the missing student shortly after it began, capturing life-altering events in real time as the Zhang family visited the United States for the first time, the university community took up the search, and international students voiced their concern for their safety. Continue reading CIFF Review: Finding yingying

SXSW Exclusive Review: Finding Yingying

As a self-proclaimed true-crime junkie, I have seen and heard many stories about missing women, whether it be from a documentary, podcast, or headline on the evening news. The assumption that the answer is obvious: the husband or boyfriend did it—duh!  This is so NOT the case with “Finding Yingying” 2020. Yingying is a 26-year old Chinese woman who went missing shortly after she moved from China to Champaign, Illinois to pursue her PhD at The University of Illinois. This story is raw and real, heartbreakingly told through many voices: news stories, authorities, the family, boyfriend, friends and colleagues.

Through Yingying’s diary entries, we are able to learn more about her, creating a backstory of her first 6-weeks in the United States. The words of her diary entries appear mostly in her native language—revealed over images of her; while a voiceover in English tells us her inner thoughts. She is independent, kind, caring, and incredibly smart. Continue reading SXSW Exclusive Review: Finding Yingying