The Mosuo Sisters
Directed by Marlo Poras
Award-winning director Marlo Poras (Mai’s America), whose work has been cited by the Los Angeles Times and featured at the South by Southwest Festival, creates yet another beautiful documentary with this portrait of two young ethnic-minority women in China, where the rippling effects of the 2009 economic downturn have been felt from countryside to city. Losing the only paying jobs they’ve ever known thanks to Beijing’s shrinking economy, sisters Jua Ma and La Tsuo (part of the Mosuo minority) return to their distant home near the Himalayan foothills. The Mosuo people are one of the world’s last matriarchal societies. It is a traditional community with unique family behaviors, where the female is the head of the household. The Mosuo are particularly unusual in their practice of the “walking marriage” where romantic and family life operate in two separate spheres. Unorthodox? Certainly. But the everyday life of a female Mosuo is filled with the same challenges of other women of the modern world, as this remarkable film makes clear.
Back in their village, the two sisters must now choose a new future in order to support the family. While the elder Jua Ma pursues a singing career, La Tsuo remains at the family farm, despite her ambitions for the city life and a career beyond laboring in the fields. Here, family and sisterly sacrifice is set at the intersection of two markedly different Chinas.
Executive Producer: David Sutherland
Producer: Yu Yingwu Chou, Marlo Poras
Cinematographer: Marlo Poras
Writer: Al Go
Editor: Amy Foote
Sound: Jim Sullivan
Music: Shawn James Seymour