Official Selection, 2019 SXSW Film Festival
Trust fund princess Sasha Li lives on daddy’s bankroll, so any disturbance to the filial order means goodbye credit cards, rent checks, and luxuriating in L.A. as an aspiring fashion designer. Befitting a Chinese daughter, she’s expected to help with the family business and coexist with the children of dad’s many mistresses, too many to count or remember. So, at the end of her financial rope, Sasha acquiesces to dad’s incessant beckoning and moves to Shenzhen, where she will prove her worth at the stuffed animal factory that made her family’s fortune.
For a semi-autobiographical film reflecting on class difference, estranged sisterhood, and acts of emotional revenge between daughter and father, Emily Ting’s GO BACK TO CHINA is refreshingly light-hearted, a candy-colored comedy as comforting as the Santa dolls that bring the factory to life, and as whimsically opulent as the Shenzhen mansion so exorbitant Sasha needs to take selfies with it. In her feature lead debut, Anna Akana earns her place in a lineage of Asian American actresses represented by co-stars Lynn Chen and Kelly Hu, while director Emily Ting (Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, SDAFF ’15) proves again that personal filmmaking can be buoyant and bright. –Brian Hu
Sat Apr 13