An incredibly lyrical film that is at times a quiet discussion about culture, at times an open meditation on coming-of-age. The subject matter is timely, characters are engaging, and the original score is beautiful. But the real star is the cinematography where each scene is carefully juxtaposed against a scene later. While the narrative unfolds through two years of teenage lives, recurring images, symbols and dialogues remind us that life is never truly linear. And so little by little, we are inevitably drawn to the journeys of the two young protagonists. Who will they become? Will they become who their parents (who sent them from Chinese mega-cities to rural America) wish them to be? Will they become who they themselves thought that they would be? Or will they become who we the viewers wish them to be? In the process of watching these teenagers grow up, we come to see ourselves more (and perhaps in equal parts less) clearly in a complex world.
Stella and Harry are affluent, cosmopolitan teenagers who are part of the enormous wave of "parachute students" from Mainland China enrolling in U.S. private schools. Shot over three years ...
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April 2, 2019