Yellow is Forbidden 2018

Directed by Pietra Brettkelly Big Nights

Kiwi director Pietra Brettkelly takes us into the opulent world of show-stopping Chinese designer Guo Pei as she prepares to make her Paris debut and seeks admission into the exclusive club of haute couture.

Jul 28
Sold Out

The Roxy Cinema

Jul 29

Embassy Theatre

Aug 01

Embassy Theatre

Aug 09
Sold Out

Penthouse Cinema

Aug 11
Sold Out

Penthouse Cinema

Aug 14

Embassy Theatre

Aug 19

Embassy Theatre

China / New Zealand In English, French and Mandarin with English subtitles
97 minutes DCP
E

Director, Screenplay

Producers

Pietra Brettkelly, Richard Fletcher, Naomi Wallwork

Photography

Jacob Bryant

Editors

Nicolas Chaudeurge, Margot Francis

With

Guo Pei
,
Philip Treacy
,
Wendi Murdoch
,
Godfrey Deeny

Festivals

Tribeca, Hot Docs, Sydney 2018

Elsewhere

Pietra Brettkelly will present her film in person at its first two NZIFF screenings.

Chinese designer Guo Pei made fashion headlines around the world when Rihanna wore her massive canary yellow gown to the Met Gala in 2015. If ever a dress was intended to stop the show, this was it. Typically of Guo Pei, it was intricately embroidered and bejewelled, the product of years rather than months of work – an opulent one-off, likely only ever to be worn on a catwalk or red carpet.

How did the daughter of a communist soldier and primary school teacher, educated, as she informs a bemused Western press at ‘No 2 Light Industry School, Beijing’, become the designer of choice to China’s one percent, positioning herself for global significance? We are taken into her world as she seeks acceptance from Paris’ Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. Her irresistible force may have met an immovable object.

In milieux as different as Afghanistan (A Flickering Truth), South Sudan (The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins) and a New Zealand high school (Māori Boy Genius), Kiwi director Pietra Brettkelly has excelled as an enthralled yet keenly perceptive observer of highly driven individuals. In Guo Pei she meets a subject fit for the times. The contemporary hankering for imperial grandeur may never have looked more insanely magnificent than in Guo Pei’s world of wearable arts. Its roots in suppression, aptly alluded to in the film’s title, are astutely observed in Brettkelly’s fascinating, gorgeous film.

“With a remarkable eye for detail and exquisite blending of visual art forms, Pietra Brettkelly captures Guo’s drive, artistry, meticulousness, and acumen.” — Brian Gordon, Tribeca Film Festival