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Better Angels (2018) - Plot Summary Poster

(II) (2018)

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  • BETTER ANGELS, the feature documentary by director Malcolm Clarke, explores how the world's two largest superpowers are racing towards economic and political conflict, yet find themselves undeniably linked and interdependent by the new reality of global economic rivalries and cultural ties. The film captures the compelling personal stories and ideological challenges of why these two countries have the world's most important relationship.


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Synopsis

  • BETTER ANGELS, a theatrical documentary written and directed by two-time Academy Award®-winner Malcolm Clarke, and produced by William Mundell & Yi Han, examines the complex and turbulent relationship between the world's two greatest superpowers. The film offers an unflinching look at why the United States and China must, for the sake of global economic and political stability, work towards collaborative, mutually beneficial engagement. Created with the participation of three former U.S. Secretaries of State, BETTER ANGELS tells the compelling stories of American and Chinese citizens, from Alabama to Shanghai and Iowa to Beijing, whose lives have become interconnected in often-surprising ways. As former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says, diplomacy is "like a game of billiards....Somebody thinks they're going to hit the ball and make it go into a pocket across the table. What it does instead is hit a lot of other balls along the way."

    Although the film was produced over a five-year period, BETTER ANGELS could be torn from today's headlines as Washington and Beijing spar almost daily with economic and diplomatic tensions. The film's message - advocating a more reasoned, measured, and less confrontational approach to bi-lateral relations - grows more urgent every day. By examining the lives of ordinary citizens in both countries, the filmmakers gradually reveal a clear path towards achieving mutual respect while avoiding what some already feel is the inevitability of deeper conflict. With the fate of billions hanging in the balance over a single tweet or a retaliatory response, BETTER ANGELS endeavors to answer one central question: As we contemplate the possibility of a new cold war, isolationism and conflict, might we still overcome our economic rivalries and ideological challenges, to pursue a path of security, mutual respect and growth on both sides?

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