2/12 Li Yifan

Chinese director of documentary “We Were SMART” (杀马特我爱你 shāmǎtè wǒ ài nǐ)

Time: Friday, February 12th, 7-9 pm CST

Zoom Registration:


The Chinese word  (Shamate, written as SMART in the film’s English version) is a homophonic appropriation of the English word “smart.” Starting in the 2000s, this term has appeared on the Chinese Internet, labeling a form of fashion with its iconic hairstyle, makeup, and attire. Documentary We Were SMART looks into the lives of people who are associated with SMART, namely, young factory workers migrated from rural areas to the periphery of urban spaces. In addition to in-depth conversations with these people, the film also includes footage shot by them, offering an insider’s view of SMART’s life stories.

Li Yifan is a documentary filmmaker and artist in China. He teaches at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. His other works include “Chronicle of Longwang: A Year in the Life of a Chinese Village” (村档案:王村2006影像文件) and “Before the Flood” (淹没).

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies with generous support from a Title VI National Resource Center Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Please contact Jiayi Zhu (jiayizhu@uchicago.edu) and Sophia Walker (scwalker2@uchicago.edu) if you have any questions or concerns. We will see you on Zoom! 


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