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Young & Restless in China

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A riveting and poignant journey, Young & Restless in China tracks the lives of nine ambitious young Chinese professionals who are struggling to make it in this very tumultuous and rapidly changing society, as it prepares to host the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Whether it's defying Eastern cultural traditions in pursuit of more Western values, struggling through the (often erratic) government protocols to start a new business, or fighting to preserve the environment, this new generation of twenty- and thirty-somethings is caught between the bonds of their nation's history and their own quest for a very different future. Narrated by ER star Ming Wen, Young & Restless in China captures the coming-of-age of China's most dynamic generation in ways as intimately familiar as they are decidedly new.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
- 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
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
- Statement from writer/director/producer Sue Williams

Review

"A stunning, sweeping look at a country amid a frenzied if thoroughly compromised process of self-reinvention!" --Los Angeles Times

"For all the stress about the coming Olympics and human-rights violations, Young & Restless makes it clear that for the Chinese themselves, their problems are much more personal..." --The Onion A.V. Club

"Nuanced and emotionally bittersweet... Provides a timely reminder that the people of China and the Chinese government should be distinguished from one another." --Film Journal International

Special Features

  • Original promotional reel, featuring footage not included in the final film
  • Statement from writer/director/producer Sue Williams

Product Details

  • Actors: Ming-Na Wen, Ben Wu, Lu Dong
  • Directors: Sue Williams
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Films
  • DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0018O3P3G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,364 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Young & Restless in China" on IMDb

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I enjoyed this video for what it was, but I think it could have been much better. By trying to cover 9 people in just 90 minutes, you only get a brief glimpse of each person's life. The interviewer spends most of each person's time talking about mundane parts of their life like boyfriends and girlfriends and apartments. The video would have been much better if they looked at each person in more detail.

For example, one woman is a stock broker. The huge swings in the Chinese stock market have made many people rich and ruined many others. This is never discussed in the video.

Another woman is an environmental activist. The New York Times has printed a full page interview with her and called her the Erin Brockovich of China. That is never mentioned in the video. I would like to see a 2 hour documentary just about her. Her story is probably more interesting than the real Erin Brockovich.

Perhaps Chinese censors limited the scope of what this documentary could cover. Who knows?
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At first I thought this documentary was more like a promotional video that talked about how great China’s economy was doing. But as it went further on, this documentary really dives into almost every aspect of China’s job industry. They interviewed various people with different backgrounds and really showed you the lives of people who lived in China. Those who are involved in politics, environmental control, design skyscrapers, migrant workers, and even the life of a Chinese rapper. They showed you the life on both sides of the coin and showed you how China’s job economy is doing. Life is still hard; there are people who are barely getting by and there are those that came back from being abroad after a decade. I went back to China about 3 months ago and I can relate to everything they say in this video. It really is an unbiased view on China's economy as a whole.

[...]
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I work with young Chinese college students, so this was particularly interesting for me. Many have no concept of money and the worth of 1 dollar. They are the generation of the new rich. At the same time, some have no idea of the historical/religious figures of Jesus and/or Buddha. This was a good film if you are curious about this new China and the odd idiosyncratic ticks that make up this culture.
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Format: DVD
If you're interested in China, there's not a better starting place on film than Sue Williams' amazing documentaries.

Her latest, "Young and Restless in China," explores the lives of young men and women spiritually adrift in China's new world. I'm using the term "spiritually" broadly in this case, but it really is the unifying theme that runs throughout these young lives. They're all searching for some ultimate sense of meaning in a country that seems to be on the verge of overheating as the world's biggest economic engine.

As a journalist, I'm hugely impressed with Sue Williams' many years of commitment to exploring China and producing a long series of top-notch documentaries. If you've seen her earlier overviews of Chinese history, this new film opens with a breath-taking freshness - like jumping on the back of one of the motorcycles in the film and racing through the streets of China. (To see more of her earlier work, take a look at "China: A Century of Revolution" China: A Century of Revolution (Three Disc Set))

Without years of immersion in China, I can't imagine how it would be possible to produce such a film with intimate access to the lives of young adults. I was especially touched by the life of Wei Zhanyan, who may appear to us as perhaps an American exchange student pursuing a college degree when we first glimpse her walking through the streets. In reality, she's virtually a slave in China -- an impoverished migrant worker who was forced to leave school at an early age to support her family. Eventually, she was forced into complete exile from her family to take a job assembling cell-phone headsets.
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This is a great documentary video for people who are interested in learning Chinese culture or language. The documentary contains 9 stories with different characters who live in China now. The stories are so true and sometimes you are shocked by what you saw and heard. It is a good resource for people who want to know the lifestyles of Chinese young generation, what they think, what they pursue and what they suffer from. Overall, I recommend this video to all people who like to know today's young generation in China.
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