Young and Restless In China – Movie Review Example

Young & Restless In China (2008) This movie focuses on the lives of young Chinese citizens who attempt to take advantage of the growing economy in China. The film follows the lives of a few young citizens as they pursue their dreams. Throughout the film, both the positive and negative impacts of China’s economic growth are highlighted. Whereas this growth presents opportunities for some on one hand, there are many Chinese citizens who suffer as a result. The most affected, as the film shows, are the young.
One of the key issues presented in the movie is the challenges faced by women trying to pursue their careers. Although some of the challenges faced by these women also apply to men, the film shows that these women face challenges unique to them.
At the start of the film, we are introduced to Wei Zhanyan, a young migrant industrial worker. At the tender age of thirteen, she was forced to live school and work in order to educate her brother. Clearly, denying women the needed education puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to pursuing their careers. The boy child is valued more than the girl child, and this explains why Zhanyan had to live school in order to make money to educate her brother. With the little education she had, she is limited to low paying manual jobs. Yang Haiyan, who lives in the countryside, also shares a similar story. She was forced to live school at a tender age and start to work on their farm. This problem is in fact a global issue, and is common in many underdeveloped and developing nations. Women, regardless of their career dreams, are used to facilitate and help in the education of men.
The film also shows that women have to grapple with Chinese traditions and customs, and this affects their careers and dreams. In the film, it shown that Zhanyan’s family wanted to marry her off to a suitable suitor. This is one of the Chinese traditions that affect women following their careers. Zhanyan is at one point forced to travel to the village to meet her future husband, something she doesn’t like. She wants to be free and independent, and she is not keen on getting married. Luckily, she manages to call off her engagement and gets the support of her parents. Miranda Hong, who has an MBA from a top business school in the country, has also to fight some of these traditions and customs. Specifically, she is under pressure from the society to have a child, since it is believed that a married woman like her should have children. Miranda realizes that having a child will affect her career, but the pressure is affecting her life and her marriage. Such traditions, which are not unique to the Chinese society, affect many women worldwide. Many believe that it is the duty of a woman to get married and have children, regardless of her career ambitions. Such traditions discourage many women from pursuing their careers and limit them to being housewives. As the film illustrates, women who go against such beliefs have to tolerate harsh and negative treatment from their families and the society at large.
Women pursuing their careers find it challenging to balance between work, relationships and family life. The women featured in the film have faced a number of difficulties in their relationships and marriages, and these difficulties are linked to their jobs. For instance, Zhang Jingjing, who is a public advocate lawyer, admits that her job comes before family. Unfortunately, this made her relationship with her college boyfriend to fade, and eventually, they separated. Although she tried to bring her boyfriend back, her efforts did not bear fruit. She acknowledges that a professional woman faces challenges in balancing career and her relationship. She however realizes that she might have to live alone if she does not meet the right man. Similarly, for Miranda Hong, the tension from her work spills over to her marriage. She is engaged in fights with her husband, and this affects her as an individual. She claims that although she would like to be a housewife, she is unable to do that because of her career. This problem is not unique to women but is common across the board. For women however, it becomes more challenging because they are seen as housewives whose main responsibility is to take care of their families. In addition, the women featured in the film have an added responsibility of taking care of their parents and siblings. For example, Miranda Hong has to find time from her busy schedule to care of her aging parents. The same also applies for Yang Haiyan and Wei Zhanyan.
In conclusion, the film highlights the challenges faced by both men and women as they establish themselves in the society. However, due to the traditional lenses through which women are seen, this group faces more challenges than their male counterparts. This is not only an issue in China but across the world.
Reference
Young & Restless In China (2008). Dir. Williams Sue. Perf. Zhanyan Wei, Jingjing Zhang, Weimin Xu and Yao Zhang. International Film Circuit. DVD.