Carma Hinton

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Carma Hinton
Born 1949 (age 68–69)
Beijing, China
Nationality Chinese
Other names Chinese: 韩倞
Alma mater Harvard University (Ph.D.)
Occupation Filmmaker
Panel discussion on The Red Detachment of Women on 11 November 2012 at Freer Gallery with Dr. Carma Hinton (left), Dr. Chi Wang (right)

Carma Hinton (Chinese: 韩倞; pinyin: Hán jìng, born 1949) is a documentary filmmaker and Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Visual Culture and Chinese Studies at George Mason University.[1] She worked with Richard Gordon in directing thirteen documentary films about China, including Morning Sun and The Gate of Heavenly Peace. She has also taught at Swarthmore College, Wellesley College, MIT, and Northeastern University and has lectured on Chinese culture, history, and film around the world.

Early life[edit]

Hinton was born to American parents in Beijing, China. Her father was William H. Hinton, an American farmer and prolific writer. Hinton was raised speaking Chinese as her first language. She attended Beijing's prestigious 101 Middle School before leaving the country when she was twenty-one.[2]


Hinton attended Harvard University where she earned a Ph.D. in art history.



Hinton has received several awards for her work in film including the George Foster Peabody Award (twice), the John E. O'Connor Film Award, the Best Social and Political Documentary and the International Critics Prize (Banff Television Festival), as well as a number of nominations for "best documentary feature".

Her films have received recognition in both the popular press and in academic journals.

  • Morning Sun, about China's Cultural Revolution—is "a stunning new documentary film" (Newsweek), "an astonishing mix of propaganda and news footage ... an illuminating look at China's dark time" (The Boston Globe), and "transfixing" (The New York Times).
  • The Gate of Heavenly Peace, about the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests—"is a deep, powerful and rivetingly complex study of Tiananmen" (Newsweek), "enthralling" (The New York Times), and "one of the great documentaries of the past 20 years" (Boston Phoenix).
  • One Village in China—"an empathetic introduction to a handful of people who live in a complexly textured world of large power constellations, intimate social relations and deep moral dilemmas" (Journal of Asian Studies).
  • Small Happiness—" Shows the changing lives of village women, called "invaluable for both general audiences and the academic community" (Smithsonian Institution).
  • To Taste 100 Herbs: Gods, Ancestors, and Medicine depicts the work of a Chinese herbal physician and his Catholic faith.

Hinton's films have been shown in numerous film festivals and other venues worldwide and have been broadcast on television stations around the world.

Other work[edit]

Hinton has also produced websites for Morning Sun and The Gate of Heavenly Peace. These sites contain thousands of pages of text in Chinese and English, along with media clips, slideshows, photographs, posters, diaries, and other images. The sites receive over twenty-thousand visitors per month, and they have been incorporated into Chinese studies courses worldwide. The Gate of Heavenly Peace website has been recognized by The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Wired, and Yahoo, among others, as one of the leading Internet resources on China. It has received an award from the Australian National University as one of the best web resources in the fields of social sciences and humanities. It is also rated as an essential educational resource by the Internet Guide for China Studies at Heidelberg University.

In 1997, Hinton assisted the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, in a unique project to bring a Qing dynasty house from China's Anhui province to the U.S. The house, known as Yin Yu Tang, has been reassembled at the Peabody, where it provides an extraordinary opportunity for visitors to learn about Chinese architecture, traditional culture, and daily life.


Notable family members[edit]


  1. ^ "Filmmaker Carma Hinton Appointed Robinson Professor". Retrieved 2007-01-04.
  2. ^ "Carma Hinton". Archived from the original on 2008-07-08. Retrieved 2009-02-16.

External links[edit]