Chinese Wife Logic Dept.

At Worldfest 2018, one of the nice people we met was Chinese producer 旭仁花 Xùrénhuā, of the Inner Mongolia National Art Academy, at Worldfest to promote her movie Pastoral Song of the Spring. Her business card is the first one that I’ve ever received that has one side in Chinese-with-English and the other side in Chinese-with-Mongolian, which I thought was quite cool. Helen’s reaction was slightly different:

HELEN [happens to look at the side with Mongolian rather than the side with English]: How can anyone read this language? All the letters look the same.

THE PERIL: You have to admit it’s easier than Chinese — at least it’s an alphabet. It’s not like you have to know 5,000 characters.

HELEN [indignantly]: Well at least our characters look different!

Xurenhua's business card, Mongolian side

Business card with hard-to-read Mongolian underneath easy-to-read Chinese

Xurenhua's business card, English side

Same business card with English in case you actually need a Mongolian movie producer, in which case I recommend Xùrénhuā

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Worldfest low-budget review: Home of Mephibosheth (China, Platinum Remi winner)

Note: our friends Chen Zhongshi and Li “Esther” Guang, producer and director of the Remi-prize-winning documentary Home of Mephibosheth, have asked Helen and me to stand in for them at the Worldfest International Film Festival here in Houston. Helen has suggested that I make notes on the movies I watch, for Zhongshi and Esther’s benefit; so here we go.

Now, here at the end, we come to the movie that is the whole reason I even knew Worldfest existed: 黎光的《觅非播舍之家》, Lí Guáng’s Home of Mephibosheth.

I will give you my honest opinion of this film, but it is a hopelessly non-objective one; and perhaps the best way to begin is to tell you how Helen and I came to be involved – how, in fact, I came to be wandering around Worldfest with my Thousand-Dollar Prize-Winning Director’s VIP badge in the first place.

Helen, as all our friends and all my usual Gentle Readers know, is, among many other things, a very talented author and podcaster (in Mandarin). Lí Guáng, who goes by “Esther Li” among English-speakers, had heard Helen’s podcasts, and knew something both of Helen’s talent and of Helen’s standards of quality; and so many months ago she contacted Helen and asked if Helen would be willing to provide narration for a documentary she was doing on the life and work of Wáng Xīnwěi and Steve Schroeder, who for over a decade had been operating an official orphanage devoted to the care of extremely special-needs children, most of whom had been abandoned by their parents as small children or even infants. We had not met Steve and Xīnwěi personally, but Xīnwěi and Helen had heard of each other and had corresponded. One of our sadder moments of 2015, in fact, had come when Helen had gotten an e-mail from Steve and Xīnwěi’s oldest daughter, informing us that Xīnwěi had lost her battle with cancer.

Helen was honored by Esther’s request and said she would be happy to help. I think she regretted it a few times before the last take was in the can, as Esther was extremely demanding and there were many, many takes. But eventually it was done. Meanwhile, on our next one-month sojourn in China, Helen and I contacted a friend in Shandong Province (there are no provinces in China where Helen does not have friends thanks to her podcasting and to the volunteer work she does with Chinese cancer patients), and our friend picked us up at the train station in Jǐnán and then drove us far out into the Shandong countryside to the Home of Mephibosheth itself.

We spent the day there, getting to know Steve and the kids. We found Steve to be quite an unusual character (no surprise there considering how unusual his life choices have been), and liked and admired him very much indeed. But mostly we spent time with the children. When you visit the Home of Mephibosheth, they are liable to put you straight to work. If you’re there at mealtime you’re gonna help feed kids, for example. I’m not sure what Helen did for most of the afternoon as we got separated. Myself, I spent half an hour with a little girl who was bedridden and unable to talk, but she had a little ball about the size of a softball, and I discovered that she loved playing catch, and that’s how most of the half-hour was spent. A little later, I actually happened to be the closest adult on hand when one of the teenagers suffered through an epileptic seizure, and since one of my adopted daughters used to have grand mal seizures on a regular basis, I happened to know what to do; so I instinctively leaped across to him and grabbed him and held onto him through the seizure so that he wouldn’t hurt himself on the floor. (Before I learned how to that for my daughter, we had a nose get broken on the edge of the dining-room table.) These are very special-needs children.

But one thing more than anything made a tremendous impression: these children were quite astonishingly happy. The Home of Mephibosheth is a place of joy. That, more than anything else, is what I found myself thinking as we drove away.

We came back to Houston and settled back into daily life. Then one night Helen told me Esther had sent a link so that we could actually watch the documentary – neither of us had seen any of the footage or indeed knew anything other than the narration script.

Well. We watched it, and I was blown away. It was much higher quality than I expected it to be – deeply moving, deeply evocative of the atmosphere of the place, and if I may say so the narrator did an outstanding job. In fact, before we were halfway through the first viewing I was already thinking, “How can we make it possible for other people to see this movie?” There were just a couple of problems – and the biggest one was something I could fix: the English subtitles were not very good, because nobody on the production team was a native speaker of English. So I told Helen to ask if Esther would like me to revise the English subtitles, and also fix the places where people had been speaking English and the documentary team had misunderstood what had been said. Esther wrote back with a very enthusiastic acceptance, saying that she would be very grateful for the help as she was about to submit the film to an international film festival (I now know, of course, that she meant Worldfest), and she attached a complete copy of the script. So I took a couple of days and re-translated all the parts of the script that had been spoken in English. I also listened to the whole movie again line by line to re-transcribe everything that had been said in English. Then, where I had had to correct the English transcription, Helen retranslated the Chinese subtitles that had been based on the original English mishearings. We did this in a huge hurry, getting it all done in about a day, because the submission deadline was looming. And that’s how I, of all people, wound up involved for a couple of days in the making of a movie, of all things. Life is a very rum thing sometimes.

And as you have all heard if you have been reading this blog, the film proceeded to win a Platinum Remi award (and just how impressive an achievement that is, I explain in detail here).

At any rate, you can see why I warned you at the beginning that I have no hope of being perfectly objective about this film. But I will do the best I can.

Now, how good is this film, really?

It isn’t perfect; but there is so much about it that is really, really good. It only has one major problem, really: the pace is too slow. Or you can say it’s too long; comes to the same thing. My own first reaction was that it was too leisurely for the American attention span and that American audiences would have some trouble staying engaged. It turns out, however, that I don’t think it’s entirely an American-audience problem: one thing Helen and I have been doing the past couple of months is putting on some private showings in our home with focus groups, and the Chinese viewers have had the same complaint. It is profoundly moving, but it is too long.

Now, Li has already reduced over 600 hours of film down to less than two; but somehow she probably needs to find another fifteen minutes or so to get rid of. The problem is…what does she cut? Our Chinese focus group wanted her to get rid of one scene where a delegation from the local schools and government come to visit the school; but one of my favorite points in the movie – a moment that perfectly encapsulates what is so special about this place – comes precisely at the end of that scene.

Very well; somehow she needs to take about fifteen minutes out of it somewhere, though I can’t tell her where. And with that we have pretty much disposed of everything negative there is to say about the film.

That leaves everything else, which is not just good, but very good. Naturally I think very highly of the narrator…but you may discount that as you choose. Here, in no particular order, are observations about what sets this film apart.

  • The fundamental story of what Steve and Xīnwěi have done over the years for these children, and the conditions under which they have done it, is nothing short of astonishing.
  • But the story of their romance is also quite a story, which I am being careful not to spoil.
  • The film takes the time to let us really get to know several of the children, and a couple of the volunteers, in some detail. These are the most deeply moving vignettes, the true heart of the film – for every one of their stories is heartbreaking in a different way, and yet every one of those children is now, as the viewer can see for himself, in a place of joy. I defy anyone to keep his eyes dry when Mingming smiles.
  • Li really catches, in some indefinable way, the pace and feel of life on this remotely peaceful hillside. (It took us longer to go the last five miles than it did the previous fifty because it took at least three phone calls to get un-lost after we got close.) The periodic pauses from action and plot to show, just for a few seconds, goats leaping to the top of a rock wall, or flowers blooming in a springtime breeze – it would be a mistake to cut these in order to save a few seconds. The Home of Mephibosheth really is its own little world, and the film manages to communicate that atmosphere.
  • If you are not a Christian, this film is an excellent introduction to how real Christians see the world and our responsibilities within it. I say “real Christians” because there are a great many people in the world who call themselves Christians but whose worldview is indistinguishable from the wider culture’s. Xīnwěi’s explanation of how she and Steve struggle so hard to respond in a godly manner when the bureaucracy is behaving outrageously and destructively, is one of the best gateways into seeing how genuine Christians apply the principle of turning the other cheek in real life. Or, again, listening to Xīnwěi talk, in obvious sincerity, about how she has learned to have compassion for the parents who abandon these children because she is convinced that if she were in their situation, and did not have her faith to fall back on, she would do exactly the same thing…this is the embodiment of how Christ Himself dealt with sinners (except for the self-righteous sinners who were sure of their own moral superiority to others). I am not at all saying that only Christians are capable of compassion, nor that this film intends to turn you into a Christian. What I am saying is that Steve and Xīnwěi’s compassion is a very specifically Christian brand of compassion, and you can learn more about Christianity from watching this film than you are likely to learn from a half-dozen books of theology.
  • If you are a Christian, especially an American one…put it this way. I am due in a couple of weeks to teach a forty-five minute session on the passage in I Peter that deals with how Christians should interact with non-Christian governments; and I am going to build the entire lesson around cuts from this film. This is high-functionality Christianity under high-stress conditions.
  • But really, it all comes back to the children: their stories, and their joy. The difference Steve and Xīnwěi have made in the lives of these children is simply beyond measure or explanation. But what Home of Mephibosheth proves is that it is, at least, not wholly beyond depiction.

    Earlier Worldfest 2018 posts:

    I mislead some nice Chinese girls

    Worldfest low-budget review: Blaze (USA)

    Worldfest low-budget review: Nine to Nirvana (China, Best Foreign Film co-winner and I will tell you in advance that this means the jury and I are very far from being on the same page about what makes a movie good or bad)

    Congratulations to 陈忠师 and 黎光…

    General observation on the Chinese movies at Worldfest

    Worldfest low-budget review: Ayla, the Daughter of War (Turkey, screened but not eligible for an award)

    Again, congratulations to 陈忠师 and 黎光… Platinum Remi!

    Worldfest low-budget review: Fiddlin’ (USA, Grand Remi winner I think)

    Worldfest low-budget review: Hidden Summer (Houston/China, Silver Remi winner)

    Worldfest low-budget review: Grass Ring (China, Gold Remi winner, featuring Ma Liang, winner of the festival’s Best Supporting Actor award)

    Worldfest low-budget review: Teacher in the Deep Mountains (China, Platinum Remi winner I think)

    Worldfest low-budget review: A Pretty Little Fishing Village (China, Gold Remi winner)

    Worldfest low-budget review: Santa Stole Our Dog (USA…where else?)

    Worldfest low-budget review: Santa Stole Our Dog (USA…where else?)

    Note: our friends Chen Zhongshi and Li “Esther” Guang, producer and director of the Remi-prize-winning documentary Home of Mephibosheth, have asked Helen and me to stand in for them at the Worldfest International Film Festival here in Houston. Helen has suggested that I make notes on the movies I watch, for Zhongshi and Esther’s benefit; so here we go.

    I suggested we go to this one as a family, giving it as my before-viewing opinion that either it was going to be well done, in which case it could be very cute and fun indeed, or else not, in which case it was likely to be very stupid. In the end only Kai and I went.

    As for whether my prediction was accurate…let’s just say I tried several drafts of this review.

    First Draft

    No. Just…no. [end of entire post]

    Second Draft

    My parents always said, if you can’t say anything good about something, don’t say anything at all. So, um, the little girl was very cute. [end of entire post]

    Third Draft

    Hey, Mom, Pop…do you guys remember The Return of the Black Stallion? Well, Kai and I had a great father-son bonding experience today. I’ll tell you all about it in a private e-mail so as not to hurt anybody’s feelings. [end of entire post]

    Fourth Draft, and we’ll just go with this one

    Okay, I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings unnecessarily, and this movie was such a hot mess I don’t think any good would come out of my giving specific criticisms about all the many, many things that turned it into one of the great Unintentional Comedy experiences of my entire movie-going career; so let’s just say that it was so bad that Kai and I spent at least a half-hour on the way home laughing ourselves silly by reminding each other of one after another of the myriad ways in which it was awful. Seriously, Kai’s first two comments once we were out of the theater were:

    “Yeah, that movie was so cringe.” (This apparently counts as English if one is fourteen years old in 2018.) He pauses, then adds, in the tone of someone desperately seeking the silver lining, “Well, at least now I know how not to make a movie.”

    I really don’t want to forget all the side-splitting ways in which this movie was bad; so I will make a separate post listing all the things Kai and I laughed at on the way home. But I really don’t want to just blast away mercilessly at well-meaning people who have done me no harm; so I will keep that post private, as a pure journal entry for my future reference. I’ll give you just one delicious example, one of the many things that makes me suspect that not a single person even remotely connected with this movie has ever been more than fifty miles from Los Angeles.

    At one point, the plot calls for the dad and kids to go see Grandma up in the Yukon Territory — this is, you must understand, during the last week of December. They are then going to borrow her car to drive to the North Pole. (This could have been made to work in a movie that knew the difference between “whimsical” and “stupid,” but this was not that movie.) As they walk out to the car to fire it up and head out, Grandma remembers that the driver’s-side back door window is missing, and that the hole is covered merely by having a piece of cloth duct-taped over it. She explains — unnecessarily — that it has been a long time since she drove it.

    Well, this doesn’t stop Dad and Kids at all. They hop into this car — which, I repeat, in the Yukon Territory between Christmas Day and New Year’s, has a piece of cloth taped where the back window is supposed to be, and proceed to drive for hours through the night. Then the car breaks down. Dad gets out, fiddles under the hood, fixes the car in a couple of minutes, gets back in…and announces, “Man, it sure is cold out there.” The emphasis is mine; the scriptwriter, if he ever reads this, will no doubt be scratching his head and wondering why I saw fit to emphasize that bit.

    But at least that broken window winds up playing a critical role in the plot, right? I mean, this ludicrous nonsense at least winds up serving some purpose, right? Um…no. Dad announces that his fix is only temporary and that they will have to find a mechanic at the next town. And then he says, “And while he’s at it, we might as well have him fix that window, too.” And that’s the last we hear of the missing window.

    “So, wait” — I hear you cry — “what was the point of the missing window, again?” Um…beats the heck out of me. That’s the best I got for you.

    I will say that I am sure that the movie was better than it would have been had Kai and I written, directed, produced, acted in, and edited it. But if I don’t stop writing right now I’m going to giggle myself silly all over again. I applaud the willingness of everyone involved to take a shot at making their dreams come true, and they did better than I could have done. And I congratulate the young man who played the surly teenaged son (Chase Pollock, maybe?) for having won the festival’s award for Best Rising Young Male Star. (“Wait a minute” — I hear you cry — “what was there about his performance that would make the festival jury give him an award for his acting?” Um…beats the heck out of me. That’s the best I got for you.)

    And with that, I’m just going to stop.

    Earlier Worldfest 2018 posts:

    I mislead some nice Chinese girls

    Worldfest low-budget review: Blaze (USA)

    Worldfest low-budget review: Nine to Nirvana (China, Best Foreign Film co-winner and I will tell you in advance that this means the jury and I are very far from being on the same page about what makes a movie good or bad)

    Congratulations to 陈忠师 and 黎光…

    General observation on the Chinese movies at Worldfest

    Worldfest low-budget review: Ayla, the Daughter of War (Turkey, screened but not eligible for an award)

    Again, congratulations to 陈忠师 and 黎光… Platinum Remi!

    Worldfest low-budget review: Fiddlin’ (USA, Grand Remi winner I think)

    Worldfest low-budget review: Hidden Summer (Houston/China, Silver Remi winner)

    Worldfest low-budget review: Grass Ring (China, Gold Remi winner, featuring Ma Liang, winner of the festival’s Best Supporting Actor award)

    Worldfest low-budget review: Teacher in the Deep Mountains (China, Platinum Remi winner I think)

    Worldfest low-budget review: A Pretty Little Fishing Village (China, Gold Remi winner)

    Later Worldfest 2018 posts:

    Worldfest low-budget review: Home of Mephibosheth (China, Platinum Remi winner)

    Worldfest low-budget review: A Pretty Little Fishing Village (China, Gold Remi winner)

    Note: our friends Chen Zhongshi and Li “Esther” Guang, producer and director of the Remi-prize-winning documentary Home of Mephibosheth, have asked Helen and me to stand in for them at the Worldfest International Film Festival here in Houston. Helen has suggested that I make notes on the movies I watch, for Zhongshi and Esther’s benefit; so here we go.

    This was the second Helen-and-Kenny Date Night movie. It was also the movie in which we had the most personal interest, as our friend Dr. Feng was a major financial backer of the movie, which tells the essentially true story of how the Shandong village in which Dr. Feng grew up transformed itself into a tourist mecca.

    Let’s begin with the script, which was first-class. Without committing the sin of spoiling, I can’t be very specific about why I say it was first-class, other than that at several places fairly far into the movie the dialogue casually lets drop information that causes you to seriously revise your understanding of the characters and their interrelationships. The two principle characters…ai-ya, here’s that annoying problem again…

    Okay, this has been a chronic problem for me in doing these reviews of the Chinese movies from this week. The information in the Worldfest program often does not identify the character names and never tells you which actor is playing which role. Furthermore, Chinese names are rarely gender-specific, which means when you are looking at a cast list you don’t know which names are actors’ and which are actresses’. And finally, even after seven years of hearing Chinese names I still have a terrible time remembering them, especially since at least half the time when Chinese people are talking to each other they don’t use names at all, preferring to use family relationships instead: when Helen is speaking Chinese, I am never “Kenny” but always “Xiansheng” or “Laogong,” both of which mean “husband.” I have no idea what one of Helen’s uncle’s name is, because for the past seven years I have never once called him anything but “Sangubaba,” which is to say, “husband of my wife’s father’s third-eldest sister.” When I tried to remember the name of Fan Meisuo’s love interest in Teacher in the Deep Mountains, the only dialogue that had stuck in my mind was her younger sister’s — in which she always called her “Jie,” which is to say, “Big Sister.” That was unhelpful.

    So, the two main characters in this movie are the town’s retired elder statesman who comes up with the idea of turning the village into a tourist destination, and his daughter whose name I think was something like Haiying. Of the elder statesman’s name I have no memory at all. This is purely because 我是美国的傻瓜, I am an American moron. — No, wait, after posting this, while re-reading it, I have just suddenly gotten the sick feeling that Haiying is actually the name of the Elder Statesman. [utters very non-Baptist words] So I will have to refer to them as Elder Statesman and Haiying Daughter, who I am guessing are played by Zhang Shutian and Xu Ge respectively.

    The script requires Zhang to make us like and respect Elder Statesman at first, but to come to realize during the course of the film that he has initially unsuspected flaws to be overcome. With Daughter, Xu has to produce the opposite effect: my reaction to her behavior early in the film was, “Good Lord, I can totally understand why her husband has headed off to the other side of the world and never come back — this girl is really cute, but God help anybody who has to live with her.” That opinion too, like our opinion of Elder Statesman, has to be modified, but in Daughter’s case it becomes more positive. Don’t get me wrong, I personally still would pass unhesitatingly on any invitation to get romantically involved with her, no matter how cute she is, as I personally do not find occasional fights to be spicifying enlivenments of marital monotony. But the point is that she does become ever more likeable as you get to know her ever better, and you do get to the point where you can at least see why Daughter’s Love Interest could be happy with her even if persons of a less supernaturally saintly degree of patience would not be, which is all that is necessary to make the ending a happy one. Put it this way: to begin with Xu successfully makes Daughter’s first impression on us be “Crazy Bitch;” but by the end of the movie Xu has convinced us that, actually, Daughter is merely Italian.

    Fortunately, both Zhang and Xu are up to their respective tasks. The still-handsome Zhang, with his most-interesting-man-in-the-world grey-flecked beard and his natural gravitas, was born to play dignified older men; and Xu is both as cute as you could ask a leading-lady village girl to be and also…well, if she isn’t a hot-tempered short-fused little firecracker in real life, then she has spent plenty of time around temper-tantrum-throwing ladies and has taken copious notes, both on how they blow up at a moment’s notice and how they are sincerely repentant once they have calmed back down. Either that or she grew up in Italy.

    The supporting actors are up to their tasks, as well. I don’t expect any Academy Awards to be coming their way anytime soon, but the script doesn’t demand acting genius. It does require that the comic relief characters be funny, and they are, in a slightly over-the-top slapstick way that works perfectly well for the movie. Since Elder Statesman’s idea is to turn half the family homes in the village into bed-and-breakfasts; and since other than Elder Statesman himself the villagers have no more idea of how to run bed-and-breakfasts than they have of how to fly dirigibles; and since Elder Statesman’s idea of training is to advertise for customers on the internet, send them to a villager’s house when they show up, and say, “Good luck”…well, the early efforts to establish the village as a tourist haven are amusingly catastrophic, and the catastrophes are played for laughs in a way that successfully got me laughing. (It will be a long time before I forget Daughter’s double-sided-windmill method of throwing what she believes to be punches in a brawl over which family stole which other family’s customers, or the sight of Daughter’s BFF dancing around the dining room table in an ad-hoc and amateurish, but endearingly sincere, attempt to provide entertainment suitable for an American couple’s fortieth wedding anniversary.)

    Daughter’s Love Interest is not meant as a comic character, and that’s a good thing since the only time I remember him trying to be funny (in the opening gossiping-ladies scene that introduces him to us), he, um, isn’t. Fortunately, after that, the script doesn’t ask him to try to be funny again. Now, the actor doesn’t really have the personal magnetism he needs for the first half of the movie, but since what his character offers Daughter is primarily gentleness and calmness and compassion and an unusually high capacity for absorbing unkind treatment from occasionally hot-tempered people (such as, you know, both Daughter and her father), the lack of leading-man personal magnetism is not as crippling as it would be in most romantic comedies. And this compassion and gentleness and imperturbability the actor does project effectively; so while during the first half of the movie we aren’t sure what Daughter sees in him, we do figure it out eventually. It would have worked better if he could have come off in the first half as a bad boy but a sexy one, and then to have been revealed to have been the good boy in disguise that we knew all along he would turn out to be (since this is, after all, a romcom). But it still works well enough as it is.

    Meanwhile the village itself is a character, and an effective one; I heard at least one audience member asking after the show where the village was and how hard it would be to visit such a beautiful place. The directing is very good, and attention has been paid to details, thank heaven. The actors, for example, came to the village early and stayed there for a couple of months before shooting began in order to get the local accent right — and that accent is distinctive; even my shǎguā American self could tell they were not pronouncing their words in conformity with the rules of pinyin. And for once we had lovely, accurate, idiomatically expressive English subtitles. I complimented the director on the subtitles after the show…and it turns out the translator is an American who has lived in China for a long time and is now fluent in Mandarin as well as being a native English speaker, which explains it. I wish he had used a phrase like “country vacation” rather than the non-English “farm stay,” especially since at no time in the movie does anybody stay at, or even lay eyes on, a farm. And I was deeply confused at one point when one character said to the other — according to the subtitles, at least — “You are an ungrateful son!” leading me to ask Helen later in some confusion, “Wait, was that guy really the Elder Statesman’s son?” Helen, who wasn’t reading the subtitles, didn’t remember the Elder Statesman’s having said anything like that; so maybe that was an error in subtitling as well, or maybe the Elder Statesman just knew the guy’s father and assumed the right to speak on said father’s behalf. But other than that, so far as I could tell, the subtitles were perfect.

    All in all, of the five Chinese movies I saw at Worldfest, four of which I really liked, this was the one I enjoyed the most. Perhaps someday Dr. Feng and I will both be in China at the same time; if so, I would be delighted to meet him for a few days in his pretty little fishing village. If not, I certainly hope to watch A Pretty Little Fishing Village again, and am curious to see what other movies Zhang Shutian and Xu Ge have appeared in. This film goes straight into my library once there is a DVD available.

    UPDATE: I am informed, by Dr. Feng’s niece Maggie, that Haiying is Daughter’s name, after all; the reason I was confused is that most people call her father “Lao Hai,” which is essentially an affectionate way to address an older person…something like “Uncle Hai.” I’m not going to go back and rewrite the post now, though.

    Earlier Worldfest 2018 posts

    I mislead some nice Chinese girls

    Worldfest low-budget review: Blaze (USA)

    Worldfest low-budget review: Nine to Nirvana (China, Best Foreign Film co-winner and I will tell you in advance that this means the jury and I are very far from being on the same page about what makes a movie good or bad)

    Congratulations to 陈忠师 and 黎光…

    General observation on the Chinese movies at Worldfest

    Worldfest low-budget review: Ayla, the Daughter of War (Turkey, screened but not eligible for an award)

    Again, congratulations to 陈忠师 and 黎光… Platinum Remi!

    Worldfest low-budget review: Fiddlin’ (USA, Grand Remi winner I think)

    Worldfest low-budget review: Hidden Summer (Houston/China, Silver Remi winner)

    Worldfest low-budget review: Grass Ring (China, Gold Remi winner, featuring Ma Liang, winner of the festival’s Best Supporting Actor award)

    Worldfest low-budget review: Teacher in the Deep Mountains (China, Platinum Remi winner I think)

    Later Worldfest 2018 posts:

    Worldfest low-budget review: Santa Stole Our Dog (USA…where else?)

    Worldfest low-budget review: Home of Mephibosheth (China, Platinum Remi winner)