Thursday, July 31, 2008

Young & Restless in China DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Documentary Explores Effect of Capitalism on China’s emerging Generation

How have Chinese just coming of age adjusted to their country’s embrace of capitalism? That question is the focus of this revealing expose’ which offers an intimate peek inside the lives of nine young adults followed for four years by director Sue Williams.
The subjects of this informative documentary all seem to be a bit overwhelmed by the nation’s frenetic rush to modernize and newfound addiction to status and materialism. Ironically, it appears that considerable quality of life compromises are being made in this quest for the almighty dollar.
For example, Ben Wu wonders why he gave up a six-figure salary and left his wife and kids behind in America in order to return home to open an internet café. But 21st Century China is a land of opportunity, especially for any well-connected males with a good education.
However, if you’re a woman, life might not exactly be a bed of lotus blossoms. Female interviewees relate nightmares, like having to drop out of school to work in a rice paddy to help pay for a brother’s education.
A public interest lawyer talks about being dumped by her boyfriend for being too devoted to a class action case she brought on behalf of the over a million citizens summarily dispossessed by eminent domain to make room for the site of the 2008 Olympics. Then there’s the reluctant bride who can’t summon the strength to break off her arranged marriage and simply choose her own mate.
The coolest dude/biggest loser is Wang, an aspiring hip-hop artist who sent what little savings he had to his name a cute girl who sent him some photos of herself over the internet. Poor sucker had no idea he was probably exchanging sweet nothings with some heartless hustler in Nigeria.
What a world! What a world!

Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 106 minutes
Studio: Zeitgeist Films
DVD Extras: New anamorphic transfer of the theatrical version of the film, created from Hi-Def materials and enhanced for widescreen TVs, original promotional reel featuring footage not included in the final film, and a statement from writer/director/producer Sue Williams.

To see a trailer for Young & Restless in China, visit:

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