October 11th, 2021 is the official global release date of The Torch in My Heart. Available on multiple video streaming platforms, the animated short film tells a touching story of a three-generation family of OB-GYN doctors dedicated to improving and saving lives. The film is presented by The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, produced by SHIZHI media, co-produced and distributed by China Story Database, CPC WORKS, Visual China Group and Yoy Wow Communications.is a short animated film that provides a heartfelt glimpse into China’s history. Although the seven-minute film centers around one particular family, it reveals one of the many stories that has shaped China’s social and medical system over the past century.
Based on a true story, the film depicts the accomplishments and sacrifices of three generations of women doctors that were monumental in the development of obstetrics and gynecology in China. Spanning more than half a century, the story centers on Qin Jisheng, her daughter Liao Qinping and her granddaughter Lyu Tao. All are graduates of Peking University and became OB-GYN doctors, and all chose to travel to China’s border areas to treat patients in need. It is a story of love, dedication, tenacity and heritage.
The story begins with a young Qin frantically riding a horse, racing through a snowy night to save a patient in labor. It was just one of many feats in Qin’s illustrious career that began in the 1950s. Hers was an era that lacked medical resources, and Qin’s top priority was to keep pregnant women and their babies alive and healthy. It was a mission that consumed her entire life, as she fought relentlessly for the people living in border areas. Her contribution earned her the Lin Qiaozhi Award, the highest national recognition in the field of obstetrics and gynecology in China.
Qin’s daughter Liao inherited her mother’s spirit and beliefs. Liao is determined to improve the health of Chinese women, and has devoted her career to the fight against gynecological tumors. Similar to her mother, Liao also received the Lin Qiaozhi Award for her dedication and accomplishments. And now Lyu, granddaughter of Qin, is following in the footsteps of both her mother and grandmother. She has spent her career further advancing OB/GYN in China and improving the lives of women.
“The Torch in My Heart” is the story of three generations of Chinese women. Three generations with the same bloodline, from the same university and all three taking up the same career to protect women and children. Three generations that have supported the frontier and guarded the lives and health of the people living there. Three generations that have witnessed the development of China over the course of almost a century.
The way the film is presented enables the audience to comprehend the story with ease, although there are underlying issues that are subtly revealed. Strides made in science and medicine aside, it is noteworthy that the three women doctors as the leading roles demonstrate the progress of gender equality and women’s empowerment in China. Furthermore, each story takes place in remote border regions of China, such as Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Xizang Autonomous Region and the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province, which illustrates the enormous size of China as well as its diversity, and more importantly how they are connected to form one country by solidarity and common efforts.
Although just 7 minutes long, the film took a lot of time and resources to produce. The production team visited over a dozen regions in China to research and conduct interviews. When they finally decided on telling the story of Qin Jisheng’s family, the production team conducted in-depth interviews with Liao. The final version of the film was the product of 16 different script drafts, each with no less than 10 different styles of storyboarded artwork and more than 100 hand-drawn scenes. To ensure the accuracy of every detail in the film, the production team reviewed vast amounts of data spanning several decades. Every component of the film was meticulously researched and assembled. Even the background music was carefully selected after experimenting with hundreds of titles. This true story of a medical family and its part in China’s story has been artistically rendered in both Chinese and English.