Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Review: My People, My Country

Release date: October 1, 2019
Running time: 158 minutes
Starring: Bo Huang, Jing Wu, Yili Ma

My People, My Country is a film that chronicles seven different events in China's history, depicting each as a short film directed by a different director.  The stories themselves focus on a single person or a small group of people, and show how they experienced or reacted to these events.  It is an interesting premise that makes for some enjoyable short stories but the film itself has a strong nationalistic bent that is evident in the trailers and from the moment the film starts.

Each film is a self-contained story, with different actors, a different director, and highlighting a different important moment in China's history.  From the ceremony that introduced the People's Republic of China, to the return of China's first manned space probe, to the opening of the Beijing Olympics in 2008, each story is varied but has one overarching message: a love for China and its flag.  And the short films themselves have very different ways to approach their respective events, sometimes focusing on a main person but often times showing the perspective of someone on the periphery.  Each film is well shot with generally interesting characters and they provide some interesting stories and context to these important events.

However, the film is an exercise in nationalistic pride.  Each film has a strong Chinese tilt (which is to be expected given the title of the movie and the trailer) and the writing and characters are done in a way to emphasize that.  Much of the dialog is written for the good of the nation, and some characters make large sacrifices for the good of their country.  And many of these stories, while being moments of great pride for China, could be viewed as controversial outside of it.  Additionally, although the first story does say that it was based on a real person, every story after that doesn't give this level of historical accuracy, which leaves something to be desired.  I would have loved to have each story based on a real person related to the event, giving the audience more emotional connection.

My People, My Country tells seven interesting stories about important events in China's history.  However, the controversial nature of some of the stories, coupled with the strong nationalistic message might turn some viewers away from these enjoyable, but partially fictitious depictions.  

Rent it

No comments:

Post a Comment