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The Women’s Kingdom

Producer, Reporter, Editor
Xiaoli Zhou

Brent E. Huffman

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Cinematographer / Sound
Brent E. Huffman

Orville Schell
Joan Bieder
Bob Calo

People call Mosuo, a minority tribe that live by a beautiful lake in southwest China, the Kingdom of Women. They say it is a free-love society run by beautiful women, and it is a living fossil of the country’s last matriarchy.

Unlike most places in the world, the Mosuo don’t marry. They practice “walking marriage”, a tradition for at least 1,000 years. Mosuo men walk into the rooms of women at night, and leave at daybreak.

Hundreds of thousands of tourists start going. They go not only for the idyllic lake, but also for sex.  Tourism has brought Mosuo wealth, but also altered their culture.

In Mosuo, women don’t depend on men for money, and fathers don’t live with their children…

What are the real Mosuo traditions? How things have been changing? What kind of dilemma the Mosuo are now struggling with, and how do they feel about the future?

Through the eyes of the local Mosuo in the far-flung villages in China, Xiaoli Zhou tells the story about today’s matriarchs.

The Women’s Kingdom aired on PBS on June 27th on FRONTLINE/World.

Read more about “The Women’s Kingdom” in Bust magazine. (Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6.)

Winner of a Student Academy Award at the 33rd Annual Student Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

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