Coming to VOD today, Tuesday, December 6: ALL EYES AND EARS
Vanessa Hope’s look at US/China relations debuted at San Francisco’s CAAMFest last year. Other festival screenings include Tribeca, Vancouver, Global Peace, Mill Valley, Bahamas, Karlovy Vary, and Galway. The doc now comes to VOD platforms including iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, Vudu, and Microsoft Movies & TV in the US, as well as on Blueshare in China.
Hope centers her film on former US Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, who served in the post from 2009-2011. Following him and some of his accompanying family members around China, including his daughter Gracie, who was adopted from China as an infant, Hope is granted prime access and the authorization to shoot a high-level official diplomat as he tours around different areas in the country, but at the same time subject to Chinese interference, staging interactions with the ambassador and people on the street while also surreptitiously monitoring their movements. While the affable Huntsman demonstrates the careful balancing act that is his job, a more personal view comes via Gracie, whose bicultural background lends a symbolic weight to the Huntsmen family’s presence in China, which Hope seizes upon, making her the film’s sometime narrator. Though not quite afforded enough space in the thought-provoking film, a third figure emerges in Chen Guangchen, a noted attorney whose activism highlights human rights issues which complicate Huntsman’s position and the financial stakes at the core of the present-day US/Chinese relationship.