Irish Film Institute -EAFFI 2024 & AEMI: MAN IN BLACK + FÜR BETTINA


Director: Wang Bing

60 mins, France-USA-UK, 2023, Digital, Subtitled

East Asia Film Festival Ireland is delighted to partner once again with aemi to bring Irish artist film directly into conversation with East Asian cinema. This year, the Irish premiere of Wang Bing’s Man in Black – an extraordinary hour-long documentary portrait of 86-year-old Chinese composer Wang Xilin – screens alongside Adrian Duncan’s sublime new short, Für Bettina.

Man in Black

dir. Wang Bing, 60 mins, France-USA-UK, 2023, Digital, Subtitled

86-year-old Wang Xilin, one of China’s leading modern classical composers and conductors, lives in exile in Germany having suffered persecution during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. Renowned French cinematographer Caroline Champetier captures the empty, dimly lit Bouffes du Nord theatre in Paris, showing Wang Xilin walking naked between stage and auditorium, the camera circling around him, mapping his body movements, stretches, and bends, capturing his bruised and scarred body in shadow and light. In his monologue, Wang Xilin speaks of his painful past, his words sometimes drowned out by the musical excerpts from his symphonies playing furiously in the background. Chinese director Wang Bing’s hour-long performance-painting-portrait of Wang Xilin is an extraordinary powerful and immersive film focusing on the body as an act of witnessing.

Für Bettina

dir. Adrian Duncan, 20 mins, Ireland, 2023, Digital, Silent

A silent-film love story told through a public sculpture in Berlin of the 19th-Century Romantic-era poets Bettina and Achim von Arnim.

Adrian Duncan is an Irish writer and filmmaker. His latest novel The Geometer Lobachevsky was shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize, 2023. His films have screened at IFFR, Karlovy Vary IFF, HotDocs and IDFA, among others. He was awarded a Reel Art film award from the Arts Council in 2023.

aemi is an Arts Council-funded organisation dedicated to the support and development of artist film in Ireland. For more details visit

Book Tickets

Saturday 9th