About three years ago, the cultural attache at the Israeli Embassy in Beijing, Dagan Shani, asked me if he could show my film "Tied Hands" starring Gila Almagor and Ido Tadmor to the heads of the opera department of NACTA (The National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts). They heard that I had made a film as an artist in residence at The School of Visual Arts in New York and after seeing "Tied Hands" they approached me and asked if I'd be interested to make a film at their Academy dealing with Chinese Opera. My immediate reaction was negative, because I knew nothing about Chinese Opera and I was not familiar with Chinese culture. But after meeting the teachers and students at NACTA and after seeing many Chinese operas and learning about it, I changed my mind.
Being a foreigner and not speaking the language is obviously a great obstacle. But I think that the screenplay I wrote is such that my shortcomings as an outsider are sometimes an advantage, because I have a certain distance from the subject, which allows me to see things a bit differently and to say things which you might not hear from someone who was brought up in China and is immersed in it's culture. The students and teachers involved in the project were very profesional, the filming was intense and for me a wonderful experience.