“Beside what you know about China and its economy, there are stories you don’t usually see, and this is that story,” said Hooligan Sparrow director Nanfu Wang at the Sundance Film Festival. Check out our video interview above.

Wang’s original intention for her documentary was to follow sex workers rights activist Ye Haiyan aka Hooligan Sparrow, in her crusade against a sexually abusive elementary school principal. But just as Sparrow becomes a target of the state, so does Wang, as security agents and guards destroy her camera equipment and interrogate her friends. When we chatted, Wang passionately told me about the challenges she faced in making a socially conscious doc in the China of today.

Having debuted at the Robert Redford-founded fest last week, Hooligan Sparrow is screening next January 27 at the Temple Theatre at 3 PM, followed by two more screenings.