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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Go Back to China - SIFF 2019 Movie Review



The Movie: Go Back to China

The Director: Emily Ting

The Cast: Anna Akana, Richard Ng, Lynn Chen, Kelly Hu, Kendy Cheung

The Story: When spoiled rich girl Sasha Li blows through most of her trust fund, she is cut off by her father and forced to go back to China and work for the family toy business.


The Review:
After falling in love with Emily Ting's debut feature film Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong a few years ago, I was very much looking forward to seeing what she would do next. While Go Back to China continues the semi autobiographical theme, she digs deeper into her family history and specifically during a time when she moved back home to help her family's toy manufacturing business. The story is filled with culture clashes and family struggles all told with a comic touch that keeps things light hearted and fun from start to finish.

In the lead role of unemployed socialite Sasha Li, Anna Akana takes a huge step forward with her acting career and I really hope what she does here can hep her to become a Hollywood mainstay, she's really that good. Richard Ng is a bit of a Hong Kong acting legend having appeared in movies and TV shows since the late 60's and was pretty much a perfect fit to play Teddy, Sasha's brash yet well intentioned business owner father. The two play off of each other really well and it's fun to watch each of the the characters grow and learn from each other as the story progresses.

Other noteworthy performances come from Lynn Chen, an aspiring film maker in her own right, who plays Sasha's sister and the legendary Kelly Hu, who Marvel fans may remember from her turn in the X-Men franchise as Lady Deathstrike, in a brief appearance as Sasha's mom. Seeing the predominantly Asian cast in non stereotypical roles was quite refreshing and Ting did a great job of presenting her characters in a very natural way.

Go Back to China is an important film when it comes to representation and inclusion within the Asian film community and the story covers a lot of important territory in a really fun way. Ting knows exactly how to balance relevant topics with just the right amount of humor and wraps everything up in a heartwarming package that is a real joy to watch.


Go Back to China is an official selection of the 2019 Seattle International Film Festival.


To see more reviews, interviews and festival coverage please go to:

TwoOhSix at SIFF 2019




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