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The Gotham Pages: Mel Sangyi Zhao is Creating Space for More Complex Women Characters

Cinema often shrinks from women’s middle age, a site it seems to find either innately unglamorous or melancholy. Middle-aged women are frequently relegated to supporting figures, particularly in tales of girlhood, but there exist so few accounts of their lives on screen. For this reason (and so many intersecting others), women are primed to dread middle age, for few truly know what to expect of it. Return to Youth, the daring short from ascendant filmmaker and Gotham EDU alum Mel Sangyi Zhao, places itself squarely in this long untapped cinematic space. Perhaps unsurprisingly, women directors generally seem more inclined to […]

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