7.2/10
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2 user 1 critic

Maineland (2017)

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 ... See full summary »

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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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 in China and the U.S., MAINELAND tells a multi-layered coming-of-age tale, following this buoyant, fun-loving girl and introspective boy as they settle into a boarding school in blue-collar small-town rural Maine. They come seeking a Western-style education, escape from the dreaded Chinese college entrance exam, and the promise of a Hollywood-style U.S. high school experience. But as their fuzzy visions of the American dream slowly gain more clarity, their relationship to home takes on a surprising new aspect.

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11 March 2017 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
a beautiful and insightful documentary about wealthy Chinese teenagers' journey to a prestigious prep school in rural America
4 May 2017 | by See all my reviews

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.


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