Decoupling 脱钩 (2024)
Directed by Yinan Wang
Feature Documentary
TRT: 64:43


A "Chinese" father reflects on the changing relationship of China and US during his trip to Beijing to retrieve his 3-year-old "American" daughter who has been stranded because of the recent decoupling of the two countries. Born in China and living in the American Midwest, filmmaker Yinan Wang attempts to unpack his own experience of how a transnational migrant family deals with the distress caused by identity, nationalism, and geopolitics.


Yinan and I started working on the music for his documentary in 2022. During our discussions about the film, I asked Yinan if there was a specific instrument or sound that held special significance for him—perhaps a sound that reminded him of his home or childhood. He brought up 'pigeon whistles'—small devices tuned to specific notes that pigeon keepers attach to their birds, creating harmonious drones when they are flown together in flocks. He vividly described how this sound was a constant presence throughout his childhood in Beijing. These devices were unfamiliar to me, but I found them wildly fascinating. A few weeks later, I received a package from Yinan's parents in China containing more than a dozen of these whistles. I began recording the pigeon whistles and creating 'tape loops' from them, which became the primary sound and texture in the score.​​​​​​​

Awards & Recognition

2024 Cream City Cinema Jury Award, Milwaukee Film Festival
2024 Premiere at Milwaukee Film Festival

Director, Producer & Editor: Yinan Wang
Composer: Shakuru Tajiri

Animation: Chen-Yi Wu
Sound Mixing: Josh Evert & Silver City Studios