Xiao Xian

Xiao Xian is in charge of finishing a dress. Her mother has decided that she is going to take care of it that night, and she obeys, as usual. Sheng Xia, her best friend, shows up at her house to convince her to go partying. Xiao Xian accepts, but she cannot imagine what will end up happening that night.

Director’s Statement

Xiao Xian is a dark fairy tale, an introspective and personal journey of awakening of the protagonist from her torpor. Her mother orders her to finish a dress at the last moment, it is red, striking, seductive; and she, as always, obeys. Her best friend breaks into her home to free her from her duties and present her a new and unknown space, Xiao Xian will let herself go without knowing what will end up happening that night.

Xiao Xian is subject to a game of oppositions, an eternal conflict between work and desire, tradition and novelty, responsibility and rebellion, repression and liberation, eastern culture and the western culture. Xiao Xian is obedient, responsible and remains faithful to the traditions and values inherited from her parents. Her friend Sheng Xia is radically opposite. She represents that second generation born in Spain: rebellious, open, uninhibited. The red dress serves as a leitmotif in the story, it is the key to the adult and unknown world, to the attraction, passion, eroticism and desire that the protagonist secretly yearns for.

This short film is very important to me because I wanted to immerse myself in the Chinese community, tell a story of love or heartbreak between two women, which is still taboo and censored in China. The culture clash between Spain and China is not the main theme of the story but it is latent, my purpose with this short film is to generate some confusion and to not clearly contextualize where the story occurs even though it is implicit. Xiao Xian has been filmed giving special attention to the look of the film, the treatment of light. Each frame suggests more than it shows and narration is impulsed through silences, glances, reflexes, small details and camera movements. My intention has been to create an experience that is as immersive, dreamlike and hypnotic as possible, where the eerie aesthetic, the mysterious sound and sensual music accompany our protagonist during this night filled with a homosexual drive and with a hint of melodrama.

Xiao Xian presents itself to the viewer as an exploration of sexual discovery, as a window into sensuality with a haunting and evocative atmosphere, a contemplative and mysterious tone and an aesthetic that is both beautiful and gloomy.