Hooligan Sparrow

“I can live with physical discomfort, but I hate crime and injustice.” Ye Haiyan knows what she is talking about. For years, she has defended women’s rights in China, and consequently been pressured and harassed by the officials. Previously Haiyan campaigned for the rights of the sex workers, but recently she has turned her attention to corruption in the government and the attempts to cover the sexual crimes by the officials towards young girls.

In her film, young filmmaker Nanfu Wang records the life of Haiyan, now a thorn in the side of the government. Using a hand-held camera – even a camera hidden in the eye glasses – Wang shows us how the activists deal with illegal arrests and constant surveillance. There is little hope for justice, and the police is never there to help the oppressed – quite the contrary.

Hooligan Sparrow reveals the hard truth about the corrupted Chinese government and the activists fighting a hopeless battle against it. There is hope still: every small victory is a step towards justice, and even the smallest victory brings visibility to the fight.

Ruusa Myllyaho / Trans. Tuomo Karvonen

Language: Mandarin, English
Subtitles: English

  • Director: Nanfu Wang
  • Country: China, USA
  • Year: 2016
  • Length: 84 min
  • Age limit: null
  • Cinematography: Nangfu Wang
  • Editing: Nangfu Wang
  • Audio: Ron Bochar
  • Music: Nathan Halpern, Chris Ruggiero
  • Production: Nangfu Wang/A Little Horse Crossing The River, AC Films, Diamond Docs


  • Cinema Artis, Hall 2: Thursday, 26.01 - 18:30