My GrandMother, an Heroin?

Documentary directed by Tatiana de Perlinghi, produced by MiB * Made in Brussels. 2003

The director’s grandmother, Siou Ling, who emigrated from China to Belgium, could save many people during World War II, thanks to the contacts she had into the occupation army.

The question mark at the end of the title reflects the astonishment of a young woman. Siou Ling, the real grandmother of Tatiana de Perlinghi came to Belgium to study chemistry. During World War II she contributed, at the risk of her life, to save resistance fighters. In 2002 Chinese television rediscovered this heroine, a woman and a Chinese. They began the production and filming in Belgium of a long melodramatic saga, telling Siou Ling’s romanticized story. The historical truth is flouted without the slightest scruple and the character of Siou Ling is opportunistically manipulated in the ideological interest of a China which urgently needs to rebuild its image of respectability, particularly with regard to women. Tatiana de Perlinghi comes to the rescue of her grandmother and tries, through this sensitive and ironic portrait, to re-establish the truth and honour of Siou Ling.