Mulberry Child

Mulberry Child

Jian and Lisa at film shooting in Chicago, 2010 as seen in MULBERRY CHILD, a film by Susan Morgan Cooper. Picture courtesy Morgan Cooper Productions. All rights reserved.

Mulberry Child

  • Jian Ping
  • Lisa Xia
Based on the Book by:
  • Jian Ping
Executive Producer:
Associate Producer:
  • Jian Ping
Additional Editor:
Consulting Producer:
Sound Design:
Production Sound:
Production Company:

* Most external filmography links go to The Internet Movie Database.

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Mulberry Child (2012)

Opened: 09/07/2012 Limited

QUAD Cinema09/07/2012 - 09/13/20127 days
Music Hall 310/05/2012 - 10/11/20127 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook

Genre: Biographical Documentary

Rated: Unrated


The Quad Cinema and Morgan Cooper Productions are pleased to present the New York premiere of the award-winning documentary, MULBERRY CHILD (85 minutes), based on Jian Ping's book, The Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China, the history of her coming of age under the BRUTALITY of Mao's repressive Cultural Revolution.

Told with the help of never-before-seen film footage inside the Cultural Revolution, MULBERRY CHILD, more than a journal of individual survival and family principles, is a lucid account of a dramatic period in China's history.

Seeking a better life for herself and her daughter, Lisa, Jian Ping left China in 1986 to pursue graduate studies in the U.S. She left behind her parents, former senior government officials, but not the memory of their shattered lives. Jian's daughter, Lisa, joined her in Queens, New York when she was four and a half. They moved to Chicago where Jian joined corporate America, eventually becoming the national director of Tsingtao Beer. Lisa's childhood was the reverse of her mother's, growing up as an utterly unencumbered American girl; living in suburban Chicago Lisa earned a great education, built a successful public relations career and learned to enjoy the best parts of life: good friends, worldwide travel and partying. However, both mother and daughter felt an ever-widening breach in their relationship. The more Jian longed for a closer relationship and for Lisa to know her family roots, the further she pulled away, culminating in Lisa's disinterest in Jian's memoir which had taken her eight years to write.

The stalemate broke when Jian convinced Lisa to return to China during the triumphant 2008 Beijing Olympics in a desperate attempt reconnect Lisa with her extended family. As Lisa's family embraces her, her eyes open to the complexity and nobility of her own past. Her heart opens to her mother and the world from which her mother felt compelled to protect her, yet longed to have her understand. It was after this bittersweet reunion that Lisa finally agreed to read her mother's manuscript.

In telling this story, Cooper puts China's recent history in a personal context. The witty and sometimes painful sub-text of MULBERRY CHILD is that raising a child in America and creating a revolution in China, are not without some similarities. Each forces a confrontation with cultural roots and a past that haunts the present and shapes the future. MULBERRY CHILD shows a nation and a family recovering.

Narrated by Jacqueline Bisset, with music composed by Kyle Eastwood and Matt McGuire, the film has been widely recognized with prizes at Palms Springs and the Madrid International Film Festivals.

Ellis Goodman, Executive Producer, along with Jian Ping and her daughter Lisa Xia will be attending Opening Night on Friday, September 7 at NY's QUAD Cinema.

Quotes and Festivals

  • "Compelling" -- Time Out Chicago
  • "Touching and powerful" -- Roger Ebert
  • "Family tale both personal, universal" -- Chicago Tribune
  • Best of Fest -- 2012 Palm Springs Intl. Film Festival
  • Best Editing -- 2012 Madrid Intl. Film Festival
  • Jury Prize for Writers -- 2012 Nashville Film Festival

About the Filmmakers

Susan Morgan Cooper (Director/Writer/Producer)

As producer and director, Susan Morgan Cooper is drawn to stories where the life of the individual shapes and is shaped by history. She is currently developing a film about the death squads in Rio, and has produced a television series for Good Life Television documenting extraordinary acts of ordinary people. Her award-winning film Unlikely Weapon documented the life of photographer Eddie Adams whose chilling photograph of the summary execution of a Vietcong prisoner was seen worldwide marking one of the turning points in the U.S. mission in Vietnam.

Jian Ping (Author of the Memoir, Mulberry Child)

Jian Ping was born and raised in China. She is the author of Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China. From a young girl being forced to live in a mud house during China's Cultural Revolution to a working mother in corporate America, an author and a public speaker, Jian's journey reflects the human spirit of resilience and triumph. "I have to pinch myself, remembering the time when I only spoke Chinglish." Jian said at the commencement speech she gave at Loyola University Chicago.

Jian Ping is working on her next book, From Changchun to Chicago, in collaboration with her daughter, Lisa. It focuses on their social, cultural and generational conflicts. She is also writing a collection of short stories about the lives of Asian immigrants in the U.S. She has recently started a book publishing business. Jian Ping obtained her bachelor's degree in English from Jilin University, China and dual master's degrees in Film and International Affairs from Ohio University. She lives with her husband and daughter in Chicago.

Ellis Goodman (Executive Producer)

Ellis Goodman is a successful businessman with a background in public accounting, the beverage alcohol industry, commercial real estate, and is the owner/manager of American Dream Pictures. In the late 1970s, Mr. Goodman was an investor/manager in the U.K. music industry, film production (The Greek Tycoon) and distribution (Picnic at Hanging Rock). He served on the Board of Cinema Chicago, and the Chicago International Film Festival for many years and was Chairman in 1994/95. He is the author of two books, and more recently has been co-executive producer of the documentary, Louder Than A Bomb and the U.K. produced thriller, A Thousand Kisses Deep. He was invested as a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in 1996.

Jon Siskel (Consulting Producer)

Jon Siskel has developed, produced and directed documentaries filmed on location in Africa, Mongolia and Southeast Asia. Jon Siskel also developed, produced and directed Head On, a documentary on Drag Racing and 102 Minutes that Changed America, a documentary on the 9/11 tragedy, which won three Emmys Awards in Los Angeles in September 2009. Most recently he and Greg Jacobs developed, produced and directed the award-winning documentary Louder Than A Bomb.

Greg Jacobs (Consulting Producer)

Greg Jacobs served as VP/Chief Creative Officer at Towers Productions, where he oversaw the content of more than two hundred documentaries on five different networks. Greg also produced, wrote, and supervised more than two dozen other shows, including a number of mini-series and specials for The History Channel, and two documentaries on the Iraq War for Discovery Times, and also co-produced Head On, 102 Minutes that Changed America and Louder Than A Bomb.

Li Zhensheng (Archival Photographer)

Li Zhensheng was born in 1940 in Dalian, Liaoning Province, People's Republic of China. After early studies in cinematography at Changchun, Jilin, he began working as a photographer for the Heilongjiang Daily in northeastern China, where he stayed for over nineteen years before starting a teaching career at the International Political Science Institute of the University of Beijing.

His 2003 chronicle of the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) Red-Color News Soldier: A Chinese Photographer's Odyssey Through the Cultural Revolution (Phaidon 2003), has been translated into six languages and received the Overseas Press Club of America's Olivier Rebbot Award for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad. An exhibition of his images from the Cultural Revolution has appeared in nearly every major European capital and continues to travel around the world.

His collection has been represented worldwide by Contact Press Images since 1999. He is based in Beijing, China and New York, USA.

Quyen Tran (Cinematographer)

Quyen Tran received fine art and photography training at the University of Virginia and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. before receiving an MFA in Cinematography from UCLA's Graduate Film School. At UCLA, Quyen won Best Cinematography three years in a row, photographing numerous short films and features which have screened at festivals including Sundance, Toronto, Telluride, Festroia, and Tribeca, among others.

Quyen has photographed films internationally, including South Africa, Thailand, Japan, China and Vietnam. She attended the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival with the narrative feature Girlfriend. In between features she photographs commercials and documentaries, with clients including Nike, Sony, Hulu, and Apple. She is currently shooting three documentary features and is in pre-production for a narrative feature slated to shoot in Louisiana later this year.

Sean Valla (Editor)

Sean Valla has been working in feature editorial for the last 20 years. He started on ultra-low budget, non-union films and worked his way up from assistant, to first assistant, VFX editor to editor on features such as the Spiderman series, Drag Me To Hell, The Hurt Locker, Law Abiding Citizen, The Green Hornet. Sean has worked as an editor on feature films, feature documentaries, short films, web series and is currently cutting a feature film entitled, The Baytown Disco with Billy Bob Thorton and Eva Longoria.

Miranda Yousef (Additional Editor)

Miranda Yousef is a feature documentary editor with credits on films that have played Sundance, Tribeca, PBS and HBO. She recently edited Troubadours, a music documentary about James Taylor, Carole King and the 1970s singer-songwriter scene in Los Angeles. The film premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in competition, and has been nominated for an Emmy award.

Miranda has been the only or lead editor on 2008 IDA Audience Award winner Food Fight; Square Roots: The Story of SpongeBob Squarepants (for Nickelodeon); and Race, an award-winning documentary about the unexpected re-election of New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin in 2006. In addition, she has been an associate/additional editor on films including Academy Award nominee Kirby Dick's 2009 release Outrage, Dumbstruck (2010 Palm Springs International Film Festival), and 2008 Sundance Film Festival favorite I.O.U.S.A.

She is currently working on Burn, a film about the Detroit Fire Department scheduled for release in 2012.

Kyle Eastwood (Composer)

Kyle Eastwood grew up in Carmel, California as the eldest son of actor Clint Eastwood. While doing his homework Kyle remembers listening to records of jazz stars such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Miles Davis playing in the house. His father had been attending the Monterey Jazz Festival since it began in 1958 and when his children were born it became a yearly family outing. Kyle's childhood had jazz as its soundtrack and he credits his father with introducing him to the joys of the bass line.

An accomplished composer, Kyle began working in film with a contribution to the score for Mystic River, a powerful drama which won two Academy Awards. In 2004, Kyle composed three pieces of music for the Academy Award winning Million Dollar Baby.

Kyle composed the soundtracks for a number of Clint Eastwood films including Flags Of Our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima, Gran Torino and Invictus.

Matt McGuire (Composer)

From major recording studios at Capitol Records and Universal Studios in Los Angeles, to the world-renowned Carnegie Hall in New York City, composer/producer Matt McGuire has enjoyed a successful career in the music profession spanning over 25 years.

McGuire moved from Northern California to Los Angeles at the age of 19 to attend the Grove School Of Music.

In 1996, McGuire began working with bassist Kyle Eastwood, son of Clint Eastwood. They formed a jazz quartet with and soon became the featured act at local hot spots such as The Baked Potato and Jack's. They went on to make prominent appearances at major festivals such as The Monterey Jazz Festival and at the esteemed Carnegie Hall. McGuire wrote five of ten cuts on the group's CD, recorded on the Sony/Columbia label.

McGuire founded MusicWerks Productions, Inc. and has since written and produced music for all the major television networks and composed for animated television shows including "Extreme Dinosaurs," "Pocket Dragon Adventures," "Sabrina," "Sonic X," "Winx Club," "G.I Joe," "Shaman King," "Chaotic," and "Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's". Among his feature film credits are the scores and songs for the features Titanic, The Legend Goes On, Monster Mash and Dennis The Menace - Cruise Control.

Mark Stoeckinger (Sound Design)

Mark Stoeckinger has always been fascinated by movies because of how captivating they can be; that's what inspired him to attend film school at USC. At that time Mark was also first exposed to how much sound could contribute to bringing a film to life.

Inspired by alumni such as Ben Burtt and Walter Murch, Mark decided that he wanted to follow in their footsteps and create film sound.

Now one of Hollywood's most successful Editors, Mark has received a string of awards and nominations, most recently being nominated for an Oscar for Unstoppable (2011) and Star Trek (2010).