Monday, March 2, 2020

Review: Go Back To China

Release date: March 6, 2020
Running time: 96 minutes
Starring: Anna Akana, Kelly Hu, Lynn Chen, Richard Ng

Go Back to China is the second feature film from writer and director Emily Ting. This movie follows a spoiled rich girl Sasha Li (Akana) who embarks to the real world and tries to get a job after the completion of her fashion degree. But without experience and little to no options left, finding a job is the least of her current troubles. After nearly draining her entire trust fund, her father Teddy Li (Richard Ng) decides to cut her off and force her to return to China to work for the family toy business. This forced journey offers both a means for financial benefit and a life-changing trip of self-exploration.

Emily Ting's story comes off as both personal and authentic. Sure you may not be of Asian decent but these are common challenges everyone shares in obtaining their American Dream. Instantly the quote "how am i supposed to get work experience if i don't get hired" in the beginning of the film strikes a nerve as a fresh college graduate looking for a job. Emily's semi-autobiography which was actually filmed at her fathers toy factory takes viewers into the life of a dysfunctional Asian American family split between America and China. Sasha's journey to learn more about her estranged family and seek acceptance from them is an emotional one.  

What I really liked about this film is that it wasn't afraid to tell a story of great importance yet vulnerability. Understanding what children go through in the real world as far as life challenges and struggles, as well as peer pressure from all angles, shows how one's childhood can make or break someone. Each character in this film displays distinct differences in these worldly challenges. And while this story does focus on the pursuit of the  "American Dream" it taught an important lesson in believing in your own dream and passions. Everything doesn't always go the way you thought it would but staying true to your dreams makes any and all of them obtainable. 

Along with its financial and family struggles in this story, it also takes a glimpse into the toy manufacturing business and its impact on the Asian culture. Watching this exploration, you can't help but feel something . This movie will resonate with its viewers in some capacity coupled with a good heartwarming, family-oriented story that will make you laugh yet leave you remorseful.  With limited release options, you might only be able to see this on demand, but if you can catch in theaters check it out.

Watch it.

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