Watch at Home: ‘Go Back to China’ & more from female filmmakers

Lynn Chen, Anna Akana, and Richard Ng in Go Back to China directed by Emily Ting.
Lynn Chen, Anna Akana, and Richard Ng in GO BACK TO CHINA. Dir. Emily Ting. Image courtesy of Unbound Feet Productions. Photo Credit: Josh Silfen.

FF2 Media’s new “Watch at Home” columns list the new films written and/or directed by women filmmakers that are newly available each week on DVD, Video On Demand &/or streaming services.

Here are the new films written and/or directed by women filmmakers now available at home as of 3/6/2020 (with links to FF2 Media reviews posted the week of their theatrical release):

DANIELLE’S TOP PICK OF THE WEEK

Go Back to China is a delightful coming-of-age dramedy from writer-director Emily Ting that puts a spotlight on diversity.

We first meet Sasha Li (Anna Akana) on her birthday in LA.  What she doesn’t know yet is that her father, Teddy Li (Richard Ng) is going to cut her off.  While Teddy put Sasha through fashion school, it’s hard getting a job without the experience.  In the eyes of her father, Sasha is a spoiled brat.  It’s not that she’s not putting in the effort to find employment because she definitely is.  The thing is that all of her job interviews are resulting in the same disappointment.

While we often see clothing and toys that say “Made in China,” Emily Ting’s film puts this in a completely different perspective.  There are real people behind the products.  This is something that Sasha realizes and she goes as far as to suggest ideas if it means boosting the factory morale.  The average person might not turn to their trust fund for answers but Sasha’s time in China is what gives her this ability to grow.

Meanwhile, this is the first leading role for Anna Akana and the actress crushes it.   The actress displays some solid on-screen chemistry with Richard Ng and Lynn Chen to boot.  Once the push for diversity becomes the new normal, there’s no reason for studios to decide against making a film like this.  There’s a balanced amount of charm with drama.

There’s no doubt that Go Back to China is quite the personal film for Ting even if some instances are exaggerated.  But if there’s one thing at the core of the film, it’s the importance of family.  Whether it’s Sasha and her mom, May Li (Kelly Hu), or Sasha and her Chinese family, they’re important.  Teddy may have a few different wives and children but at the end of the day, he just wants to care for his family.  It may not be how you or I would show that care but he shows it in a way that only he can do so.

Click HERE for my full review.

© Danielle Solzman (3/6/20) FF2 Media

Featured photos from Go Back to China EPK
Photo Credits: Gravitas Ventures

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Danielle Solzman is a Chicago-based film critic and an aspiring filmmaker if she can ever put enough time aside to work on her feature-length trans-led political comedy script. When not in Chicago, she attends various film festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, and Toronto. She graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a BA in Public Relations while earning a Masters in Media Communications from Webster University after writing a thesis paper on comic books against the backdrop of the American political culture.
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