Saturday, September 29

Premieres ArchiveSpecial Events ArchiveBoston Women's Film Festival 2018

Yellow Is Forbidden

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New England Premiere!

(2018) dir Pietra Brettkelly w/Guo Pei [97 min; DCP]

How did the daughter of a communist soldier and primary school teacher, raised during the Cultural Revolution, become the designer of choice for China’s one percent, positioned for global significance?

That is what filmmaker Pietra Brettkelly questions as she takes us into the world of Chinese designer Guo Pei just as she is preparing to present to the Fédération Française de la Couture in Paris in hopes of being accepted by the organization as an haute couture designer.

Guo Pei first made fashion headlines around the world when Rihanna wore her massive canary yellow gown to the Met Gala in 2015. An intricately embroidered and bejeweled piece, the product of years rather than months of work – an opulent one-off, likely only ever to be worn on a catwalk or red carpet. In YELLOW IS FORBIDDEN we learn about her inspirations, the logistics of how her designs are realized, as well as where she came from and how she first learned to sew.

This film is also a document of how much China has changed from Pei’s childhood to today. She uses words like ‘empirical’ and ‘regal’ to sell to her Chinese clientele, words that would have gotten her jailed during the Cultural Revolution. It also points out the realities of haute couture: who the actual buyers are and the truth about what it takes in human labor and financial backing to realize the designs. Brettkelly’s years of experience documenting other driven subjects all over the world, make her a singularly qualified filmmaker to take on the inspiring, and troubling, world of high fashion design.


Co-presented by

Boston Fashion Week


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Saturday 9/29
at 2:00 PM

Buy 3 or more tickets in advance to any screenings at the Brattle during the Boston Women’s Film Festival and get 15% off of your order! The discount will be applied automatically.

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Tickets for all screenings are $13 general admission; $10 students/seniors/members; Brattle passes accepted. Special, Usher, and Producer members may reserve seats here.