The first leg of my Southern Circuit tour was intense; two flights each day, and one to two hours of driving to get to most screening venues. Exhausting, but what a trip! As an immigrant who had lived in six American cities over fifteen years, I had never stepped foot in the south. Not that I didn't want to - kids of my generation grew up in China reading Gone With The Wind, but somehow I never managed to. Now I'm able to have a fast and furious immersion of southern hospitality, all thanks to South Arts.
Meanwhile, I'm hoping my The Road to Fame is bringing a little China to the south. Most of the audience members have never been to China. So naturally, I was apprehensive about how the audiences would receive such a subtitled film from a faraway land.
Surprisingly, however, many came up to me after the screenings, saying the characters in the film didn't feel foreign to them. At the Robinson Film Center and Union College, students completely identified with the dreams, the anxieties over potential failures, and the pressure from family and society that the Chinese students experienced in the film. Those with ambitions in the arts felt the resonance the strongest.