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Part of SFFILM Festival

The Iron Hammer

Directed by Joan Chen

USA | Documentary | 99

18 Apr
Sat, Apr 18, 2020 at 3:30 pm PT
19 Apr
Sun, Apr 19 at 2:00 pm
The Theater at Children's Creativity Museum


In this personal and rousing documentary, Joan Chen charts the inspiring life and career of “Jenny” Lang Ping, a fearless and independent Olympic athlete who propels China to international prominence in volleyball. On the court, her most effective weapon is her lethal spike, hence her titular nickname, while her leadership skills and calm demeanor solidify her unique status as the first player and coach to win multiple World Championships and Olympic gold. Chen, in her documentary feature debut, skillfully combines thrilling excerpts from championship games, intimate conversations with Lang Ping, her colleagues, and players to craft an entertaining and multi-dimensional portrait of this groundbreaking athlete who transformed women’s volleyball. Presented by the Olympic Channel.Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Director Joan Chen

Joan Chen began her career as an actor in her native China, winning a Golden Horse Film Festival Award for Best Leading Actress for Red Rose White Rose (Festival 1995). After relocating to the United States, she starred in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks (1990-1991) and in such films as Heaven & Earth (1993) and What’s Cooking? (2000). She made her directorial debut with Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl (Festival 1998, 2017), receiving a Film Independent Spirit Awards nomination for Best First Feature – Over $500,000 and winning Golden Horse Film Festival prizes for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Feature Film. The Iron Hammer is her first documentary.

Film Details

Language English, Mandarin, Italian

Year 2019

Premiere World

Runtime 99

Country USA/China/Italy

Director Joan Chen

Producer Jan Lee

Writer Jon Weinbach, Jan Lee

Editor Dalton Lai

Cinematographer Josh Smith, Bo Bilstrup. Luis Tapia, David Tong