Last Train Home in Industrializing China

Review of Last Train Home, Directed by Lixin Fan The documentary Last Train Home tells the heart-wrenching story of a family caught in the turbulence of an industrializing China. Every Spring, for Chinese New Year, 130 million migrant workers trek back to their rural homes to rejoin their families, only to return again to their [Read More...]

Lu Xun’s Short Stories

Review of The Real Story of Ah-Q and Other Tales of China: The Complete Fiction of Lu Xun By KENDRICK KUO Outside of world literature connoisseurs and scholars, Lu Xun (1881-1936) is not well known to the West. Writing in the early twentieth century, Lu Xun is considered one of the founders of modern Chinese [Read More...]

Building Heaven in China

Review of The Great Chinese Revolution: 1800-1985 by John King Fairbank By KENDRICK KUO  Studying China is less about studying a country, and more about studying a civilization, with all the complexities hidden within a supposedly unified edifice. China has a long history of integrating state, society, and culture, under the emperor who was himself [Read More...]

Celebrating Beauty Over Truth

 Review of Mao’s Last Dancer, Directed by Bruce Beresford By KENDRICK KUO I’ve become the resident reviewer of Chinese foreign films and movies about China. And in due course I will also become the reviewer of books about China. Having grown up as an Asian American, let’s say this is a way for me to [Read More...]

The Flowers of War

Review of The Flowers of War, Directed by Zhang Yimou By KENDRICK KUO [Warning: The review below contains mature themes] The Rape of Nanjing is a historical event that continues to play a role in Sino-Japanese relations. Whenever the Japanese government reviews or changes its educational curriculum, its treatment of the sacking of Nanjing (or [Read More...]

The Great Leap Forward to Famine

Review of Mao’s Great Famine, Directed by Patrick Cabouat and Philippe Grangereau (film can be viewed here for free) By KENDRICK KUO In recent years, the famine accompanying Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward has achieved the title of “The Great Famine.” Previously, it had been known as the “Three Years of Natural Disasters,” which shifted [Read More...]

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Review of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Directed by Alison Klayman By KENDRICK KUO Ai Weiwei is an unknown, strange sounding name to most Americans, but Americans are nonetheless becoming more aware of the plight of Chinese dissidents. Earlier this year the blind activist Chen Guangcheng, known for protesting against forced abortions, escaped from house arrest [Read More...]


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