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An out of high school teen from the midwest moves to San Diego, California in the 1950s to live with his estranged father and new family. Escaping his past may not be as easy as he had hoped...or is it all a dream?
During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.
When computer programmer, Leo Fang, is passed up for promotion, he feels it is because he is Chinese, and quits. He takes his Chinese-American family to Mainland China to visit his relatives, the Chao's for a vacation. The clash of cultures, between the men, wives, and teenagers, leads to some confusion, and misunderstanding. Written by
Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>
A fine film is a fine film; funny, warm, and deep, too.
Peter Wang's most excellent adventure -- as director and actor in this work, his work simply shines. This film probably works best for adults, preferably in their thirties or forties or older. It's about tracing one's roots, one's ancestors across the sea -- in this case, the Pacific Ocean; but in other ways, many of the elements of the story are universal.
There's a friendly, respectful attitude taken to Mainland China here; none of the atmosphere or tension of investigative journalism presents itself. After all, the subject at hand is visiting with relatives. Wang does a nice job of presenting how both cultures tend to look down at the other, not necessarily in a bitter way, but more in a comic vein. We express sympathy for what we perceive as faults or missing elements in the culture or individual lives of the other relatives. What the American Chinese family perceives as a failing may be a source of pride or strength for the Mainland family -- and vice versa. This film is one of a handful that, immediately after seeing it, I wanted to go right back into the theater and see it again. I didn't. I went back the very night day. Finding the video to rent can be difficult in some places; but well worth the effort. I try to watch it at least once every two to three years; always gets me laughing again, and by the end, I still wish I could have been there with this young family in China and had them as personal friends to visit with here in California. They seem to have such fun and such spirit; a very beautiful rapport between father and son is shown and further developed as the film unfolds. Don't miss it, whatever you do -- the whole film, not just the ending. It took my breath away. Too bad the title is a bit much.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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