Beijing Taxi

Miao Wang


Beijing Taxi is a feature-length documentary that vividly portrays the ancient capital of China undergoing a profound transformation. The intimate lives of three taxi drivers are seen through a humanistic lens as they navigate a quickly morphing city, confronting modern issues and changing values. The three protagonists radiate a warm sense of humanity despite the struggles that each faces in adapting to new realities of life in the modern city. With stunning imagery of Beijing and a contemporary score rich in atmosphere, Beijing Taxi communicates a visceral sense of the common citizens’ persistent attempts to grasp the elusive. The 2008 Summer Olympic Games serve as the backdrop for Beijing Taxi’s story, a coming out party for a rising nation and a metaphor for Chinese society and its struggles to reconcile enormous contradictions while adjusting to a new capitalist system that can seem foreign to some in the Communist-ruled and educated society. Candid and perceptive in its filming approach and highly cinematic and moody in style, Beijing Taxi takes us on a lyrical journey through fragments of a society riding the bumpy roads to modernization. Though its destination unknown, the drivers continue to forge ahead.

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Miao Wang (director, producer, editor) is a Beijing-born New York-based filmmaker. She founded her production studio Three Waters Films in 2005. Since then she has produced two documentary features (Maineland and Beijing Taxi), part of a trilogy of films looking at China’s rise and its interaction with the U.S. Maineland (2017, New York Times Critic’s Pick), Beijing Taxi (2010, New York Magazine Critic’s Pick), and short film Yellow Ox Mountain (2007) have screened at over 200 international festivals and institutions such as SXSW and the Guggenheim Museum, with US theatrical releases, nationwide broadcasts, and digitally released globally on multiple platforms.She directed Made by China in America, part of the acclaimed and award-winning We the Economy series of 20 shorts by 20 directors. She holds a BA in economics from the University of Chicago, and an MFA in design and film from the Parsons School of Design.