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Yellow is Forbidden

Documentary Competition

World Premiere

New Zealand | 94 MINUTES | Chinese, English, French | English subtitles


New York, Drama, Female Director(s), Female Screenwriter(s)
Recognition from Paris’s Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture is considered the apex of the fashion industry, and Chinese designer Guo Pei is determined to reach it.

With a remarkable eye for detail and exquisite blending of visual art forms, veteran documentarian Pietra Brettkelly captures Guo’s drive, artistry, meticulousness, and acumen, from the designer’s emergence on the international scene—when Rihanna wore her hand-embroidered canary yellow gown to the Met Gala in 2015—through her remarkable 2017 show “Legend,” presented at La Conciergerie, in Paris. Along the way, Brettkelly reveals the myriad opposing forces that confront Guo’s ambitions: those of tradition versus modernity; acceptance versus prejudice; and ensuring a thriving business versus pursuing more expensive and exclusive techniques. Motwost of all, she highlights the pressures China’s economic rise places on its individual artisans—as Guo puts it, “I’m a designer, not a nation.” Nevertheless, Guo thrives amid these challenges, establishing herself as a singularly capable and uncompromising warrior for her art. With loving fidelity for Guo’s work, Brettkelly depicts both the process and the fashion itself, resulting in a timely examination of what it takes for an outsider to earn acclaim from one of the West’s most redoubtable institutions.

—Brian Gordon


Directed by Pietra Brettkelly

As a child, director and producer Pietra Brettkelly traveled from Papua New Guinea to Portugal with her parents, cultivating an appreciation for the diversity of people and their stories. Her 2015 documentary, A Flickering Truth, appeared at the Venice and Toronto film festivals and was subsequently selected as New Zealand’s bid for the Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film.
Pietra Brettkelly
Pietra Brettkelly, Richard Fletcher, Naomi Wallwork
Pietra Brettkelly
Jacob Bryant
Nicolas Chaudeurge, Margot Francis
Tom Third
Richard Fletcher, Naomi Wallwork
Guo Pei, Philip Treacy, Wendi Murdoch, Godfrey Deeny


Print Source
Pietra Brettkelly
PBK Limited
Auckland, 1142
Phone: +64 21 222 4122
International Sales Contact
Andrew Herwitz
The Film Sales Company
New York, NY 10028
Phone: 212 481 5020
Press Contact
Scott Feinstein
New York, NY 10036
Phone: 212 413 0806
US Sales Contact
Andrew Herwitz
The Film Sales Company
New York, NY 10028
Phone: 212 481 5020