Jiwei Xiao is an associate professor teaching Chinese language and literature and world cinema at Fairfield University, Connecticut. Her writing has appeared in Film Quarterly, the Rocky Mountain Review, New Left Review, Cineaste and the Los Angeles Review of Books. (March 2020)
The Wild Goose Lake is not by any means the first Chinese film to be set in Wuhan, but it’s rare to hear an entire cast speak the Wuhan dialect and see the city’s real locations—especially its lake and “urban villages”—feature in a high-profile film. Today, it is the coronavirus outbreak, not Diao’s film, that has put Wuhan on the world map. Yet the film seems, if anything, to have taken on a darker poignancy since it premiered four months ago at the New York Film Festival.