Review: Go Back to China
by Julie Perez
It’s a tale as old as time; a spoiled-rich girl finds the meaning to hard work and becomes a better person. We’ve all seen it before and yet, Director/Writer Emily Ting has found a fresh new take on a familiar story. Go Back to China follows Sasha Li (played by Anna Akana) after her father cuts her off and forces her to move back to China to help the family toy business.
Anna Akana absolutely shines on screen and though you start off genuinely questioning the likability of her character, she quickly makes you fall in love with Sasha Li. The film explores a complicated family dynamic while placing it in an environment that is unknown to the main character, which adds a layer to the story. By moving Sasha to China to confront her father it allows for instant vulnerability and Anna Akana showcases it perfectly.
Though the story of redemption really leads the movie at a wonderful pace, it’s the father-daughter relationship that really pulled me in. Sasha and her father (played by Richard Ng) have a strenuous relationship, he has multiple children from multiple women and is as emotionally distant as one can get. It’s refreshing to see a complicated father-daughter relationship in a film that doesn’t perfectly tie up their issues in the end.
Here’s the thing that nobody tells you when you’re younger: parents are human beings and every single one of them is full of flaws. Go Back to China perfectly captures the struggle that happens when you have to come to terms with that. Whether you choose to cut yourself from the toxic parent or whether you to choose to live with their issues, Go Back to China makes you feel less alone in the struggle.
Though the film finds itself to be predictable at times, it sure finds a way to make the entire cinematic journey absolutely enjoyable. You can now find Go Back to China on iTunes!