CULTURE "Better Angels" documentary tries to contribute to better US-China ties

CULTURE

"Better Angels" documentary tries to contribute to better US-China ties

Xinhua

17:03, April 06, 2019

HOUSTON, April 5 (Xinhua) -- If the United States and China could find means to cooperate, that would benefit both countries, and films may just be one of those means, a US producer has said.

"Personal stories are the ones that create a true emotional impact, and that is what is necessary to really change people's minds," William Mundell, producer of "Better Angels," a documentary showcasing China-US ties, said during a screening event of his documentary on Thursday evening.

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(File photo)

After the screening of "Better Angels" at Rice University's campus in Houston, in the US state of Texas, Mundell shared his insights with about 200 members of the audience in a panel discussion.

"I wanted the American people and Chinese people to become stakeholders in what is the most important bilateral relationship in the world," Mundell said.

"Better Angels" is a 92-minute theatrical documentary that features stories of several Chinese and American individuals who are referred to as "accidental diplomats." For instance, the film features a former US marine from Texas who taught Chinese children English and American football in Shanghai, and a Chinese teacher who helps American children learn math using an abacus.

Sunny Zhang, who attended the screening as a panelist, was impressed by the width and depth of the stories. Zhang is an associate professor of marketing at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, and she considers herself to be one of the "accidental diplomats."

"You are here (in the United States), and you are inevitably carrying the value and the image of another culture," she said, adding the documentary also shows "the close interactions" between the two peoples.

The film has received a positive response from both Chinese and American viewers. Claire Logue, creative director at Houston-based marketing firm Z LAB, said she would like to recommend it to everyone who is curious about and interested in China-US ties.

The film "perfectly exemplified the relationship we need to be having between the two countries," she added.

The screening and panel event was sponsored by the Rice University Chinese Students and Scholars Association and the China General Chamber of Commerce (CGCC) in Houston.

"Better Angels" is directed by award-winning director Malcolm Clarke and produced by Mundell and award-winning Chinese producer Han Yi.

Mundell said "Better Angels" will be released on 9,200 screens in China after the opening week of the Beijing International Film Festival to be held from April 13 to 20. 

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