Chloé Zhao continues to sweep award season! After making history at both the Golden Globe Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards for directing Nomadland, Zhao is officially an Oscar winner. On Sunday, she took home the trophy for best director, making her the first nonwhite woman and the second woman ever to receive the honor.
“I’ve been thinking a lot lately of how I keep going when things get hard, and I think it goes back to something I learned when I was a kid. When I was growing up in China, my dad and I used to play this game. We would memorize classic Chinese poems and texts, and we would recite it together and try to finish each other’s sentences,” Zhao said in her speech as she referenced a phrase she was inspired by that translates to: “People at birth are inherently good.” She continued, “Those six letters had such a great impact on me when I was a kid, and I still truly believe them today. Even though sometimes it may seem like the opposite is true, but I have always found goodness in the people I met — everywhere I went in the world — so this is for anyone who has the faith and courage to hold on to the goodness in themselves and to hold on to the goodness in each other.”
Kathryn Bigelow was the first woman filmmaker to win best director for 2009’s The Hurt Locker. Congrats to Zhao on her historic win!
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