Yang, Ruby

Critical Biography    Filmography    Reviews    Links   Bibliography

Yang, Ruby  – Critical Biography  Top

Ruby Yang
Ruby Yang

Ruby Yang was born in Hong Kong but moved to San Francisco in 1977. She obtained her BFA (Painting) and MFA (Filmmaking) at the San Francisco Art Institute, and became active as a documentary filmmaker in the late 1990s. Since 2004, she has been based in Beijing, and some of her best-known works have addressed various social issues and aspects of contemporary life in China. These include films dealing respectively with HIV/AIDS (The Blood of Yingzhou District [2006], winner of the Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject), homosexuality (Tongzhi in Love [2008]), and industrial pollution (The Warriors of Quigang [2011]). Yang has also made several documentary features outside of China, dealing with the lives of Hong Kong people and diasporic Chinese. Citizen Hong Kong (1999) – a portrait of five Hong Kong youngsters edited from DV footage shot by the kids themselves – was Yang’s artistic response to the 1997 handover. Yang also made A Moment in Time (2010), an hour-long documentary about the experience of film viewing in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Her latest feature, now nearing completion, is My Voice, My Life (2014), a film that looks at a group of disadvantaged youth in Hong Kong as they rehearse and mount a musical production.

filmoFilmography   Top

Feature Films:

Role Title (English) Title (Chinese) Year
Ritoma (Documentary) 仁多瑪 2018
In Search of Perfect Consonance (Documentary) 尋找完美第5度 2016
My Voice, My Life 爭氣 2014
Executive producer Fish Story N/A 2013
Producer Whisper of Minqin 風沙線上 2012
Director A Moment in Time 聲光轉逝 2011
Director China 21 N/A 2002
Director A Journey to Silicon Valley N/A 2001
Director Citizen Hong Kong 風雨故園 1999
Associate producer Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl 天浴 1998


Role Title (English) Title (Chinese) Year
Director Subway to Yong Chun 開往詠春的地鐵 2011
The Warriors of Qiugang 仇崗衛士 2010
Director Tongzhi in Love 彼岸浮生 2008
Director The Blood of Yingzhou District 潁州的孩子 2006
Director White Passage N/A 1987
Director Matrimony N/A 1983
Director Mirror Points N/A 1983
Director Nowhere N/A 1982


reviewReviews   Top

Ritoma (2018)

SCMP – Ritoma documentary shows Tibetan villagers’ embrace of modern life and their struggle to preserve traditions

Nikkei Asian Review – Hoop dreams on the Tibetan Plateau

New York Times – How a Hong Kong Filmmaker Came Across a New Kind of Tibetan Business

My Voice, My Life (2014):

48 Hours (SCMP) – Film review: My Voice, My Life

Filmart – Oscar-winner Ruby Yang’s “My Voice, My Life” to Release in October

Journalism and Media Studies Centre – The University of Hong Kong – Documentary by JMSC’s Ruby Yang raises over $900,000 for scholarships

Time Out Hong Kong – Q&A: Ruby Yang – My Voice, My Life

Women of China – My Voice, My Life

The Warriors of Qiugang (2010): 

Middle Ground Journal – Review of Documentary: The Warriors of Qiugang, by Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

NGO’s in China – Warriors of Qiugang — environmental activism at its best

Yale Environment 360 – The Warriors of Qiugang: A Chinese Village Fights Back

A Moment in Time (2010):

Cinespot – Moment in Time, A

Tongzhi in Love (2008):

Cinema Guild – TONGZHI IN LOVE

SF Gate – From China, stories of crisis and hope

YNOT at the Movies – Tongzhi in Love (彼岸浮生)

The Blood of Yingzhou District (2006):

Beijing Review – Breaking the Stigma

Canada.com – Film gives voice to shunned AIDS children


Los Angeles Times – A heartless disease, and a heartless response

SCMP – Left for dead

The New York Times – The Blood of Yingzhou District (2006)

The Washington Post – U.S. Filmmakers Help Bring AIDS Out of the Shadows in China

Citizen Hong Kong (1999):

Combustible Celluloid – Citizen Hong Kong (1999)


Chinatown San Francisco – A Moment in Time interview with director Ruby Yang (YouTube video)

An Exclusive Interview with Director Ruby Yang (Part I)
– An Exclusive Interview with Director Ruby Yang (Part II)

Global Health TV – Interview with Thomas Lennon and Ruby Yang (Video)


IDA – Meet the IDA Documentary Award Nominees: Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon–‘The Warriors of Qiugang

New York Times – How a Hong Kong Filmmaker Came Across a New Kind of Tibetan Business

SCMP – Filmmaker Ruby Yang: looking at the city from a different angle

SF 360 – Ruby Yang on ‘A Double Life’

The Hollywood Reporter – Filmmaker takes on China’s taboos

The New York Times – Q. and A.: Ruby Yang on Hong Kong Youth and Identity

Variety – Demand surges for Asian docus

linkLinks   Top

Hong Kong Movie Database – Ruby Yang Zi-Ye

IMDB – Ruby Yang

Official website:
– The Blood of Yingzhou District 
– The Warriors of Qiugang
Tongzhi in Love 
My Voice, My Life 

biblioBibliography   Top

  1. Chi, Shuqin. “Alternative Visions and Representation: Independent Documentary Film-Making in Contemporary China.” Studies in Documentary Film 4.1 (2010): 3-20. Print.

(Last update: 15 April 2019)