Spilled Water

Evanston resident May May Tchao directed this documentary profile of four women in contemporary China. The subjects—who vary in age, marital status, and educational background—are meant to represent a cross section of the national society; and while the movie contains an impressive range of viewpoints, it’s too short to consider any of them in much depth. This is still worthwhile for the questions it raises about women’s rights within China’s rapidly growing economy—and, implicitly, within globalized capitalism on the whole. Tchao suggests that sexism (however strong it remains in certain quarters) is less of an obstacle to social advancement today than the highly competitive nature of the job market, which turns everyone against everyone else.