Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Home Beyond the Sun|
Actor: Melyssa Ade;Von Flores;Mung-Ling Tsui;Dana Ishura;Karen Wood;Max Reimer;Molly Sayers
Director: Colin Chilvers
Home Beyond the Sun is the story of two girls, Jenna (Melyssa Ade) a 22-year old American teacher and the other Chu Lee (Molly Sayer) an eight-year old Chinese orphan. Together, with the help of the Lord and the guidance ... more »
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An Uplifting Story
D. Hupp | Woodbridge, VA United States | 04/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Beware. This is a heartwarming story with a strong Christian message. That is the strong point of the movie. Some people will find that a "turn-off". I didn't. I found the story very uplifting, despite its "preachy" tone. The acting is a weakpoint. Some performances were credible; others seemed amateurish. A low-budget film with a wholesome message."
Unrealistic and bad acting
R. Brown | 03/28/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Any claims that this film is based on a true story are indeed a stretch. There are too many aspects of this film that are misleading concerning adoption from China (or any other country for that matter).
According to the movie's own timeline, the story begins in 1996 with the murder in China of the mother of an illegal (ie unapproved) baby. The film then fast forwards and primarily takes place in the year 2004.
Given the year this story supposedly took place, there were so many problems with the script vs. reality, that my wife and I lost track, but here are some of the most over-the-top scenes:
1) The idea that any American would be allowed to work in a Chinese orphange without having to first jump through a million communist government hoops. (OK, maybe it's not that difficult. But given the way the government is constantly spying on this particular American throughout the film, it's pretty amazing they let her get away with it.)
2) Said American is then permitted to come and go with one of the orphans at will, even going so far as having her sleep overnight in her apartment.
3) The possesion of a Bible by a foreigner is perfectly legal provided it is not used to promote Christianity to Chinese residents. Yet, in the movie, the American is threatened by the police simply for having one in her backpack.
4) The bribe, er, "donation" demanded by the "evil" orphanage director. As we who have been there all know, the fees are set in stone, and the orpanage director does not drive the process, the CCAA does. The fees are not at all negotiable, and even the gifts we give are not mandatory.
5) The "signature" that was withheld by the "evil" director suggests that her personal approval was all that was needed to adopt. But what really puts it over the top is the scene where the local police officer provides his own signature instead, as he sits in his car outside the airport!
6) No mention is made of all the other required paperwork and signatures on the Chinese side and very little is said about the US paperwork either (no homestudy, no dossier, no wait time). Indeed the entire Chinese set of paperwork appears to consist of one badly mangled piece of paper.
7) Since when can you adopt from China without at least one of the parents actually traveling?
8) What happened to the mandatory trip to Guangzhou?
9) How is it that a plane ticket suddenly exists for the little Chinese girl when, just the day before, the American believed she would have to return home alone?
10) How is it that there is apparently no security fence around the airport? And why does the police officer dump them in the field instead of driving them to the door? And how does an American waltz through airport checkpoints with a child who has no US consulate papers and no passport?
... and these are just the things that come to mind as I write this! It seemed like every few minutes my wife and I would look at each other and say, "oh come ON!"
HBtS begins with a warning that you can't show it in your church without special approval! Quite honestly, it's so far removed from reality that I would be embarrassed to show it in my church, for fear that my friends would get the wrong idea about adoption and religion in China.
HBtS also suffers from some pretty awful acting: The little girl is actually better than all the adults, and the "evil" orphanage director deserves a "razzie" for the worst acting I have seen since ... well, maybe ever.
Am I glad we watched it? Sure. Anything about China interests me. Would I recommned it? Not if you have to spend any money.
I don't know how faithful this movie is to the "true story" upon which it was supposedly based (not very, I'm guessing). As such, it might be of interest strictly for its entertainment value. But if you're looking for a commentary on adoption or religious persecution in China, you'll be sorely disappointed.
Beautiful faith-affirming story produced with obvious frugal
TOMMY C ELLIS | Federal Way, WA United States | 04/20/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"OK, yes...this was done on the cheap. Some of the lines were forced, and the effort to infuse the story with Christian teachings is obvious and direct. BUT--what a heartwarming story. The kid with no chance gets the golden ring! The goodhearted Samaritan ultimately gets rewards even beyond what she hoped for.
As for plausibility, yes China is advancing economically, and, in some areas, the official Communist stance against religion has relaxed. However, Churches and Christians are still required to register with the government, and doing so means accepting monitoring, editing of sermons, and in many cases, restricted opportunities. And there are still areas of China where local authorities choose to persecute Christians (yes, Tibetan Buddhists too, Falun Gong too, etc.) quite strenuously. So, while the film (produced in 2004) had the fill of a late 1970s/early 1980s China, it would be naive to suggest that persecution does not happen in the Middle Kingdom in varying levels.
Bottom-line: Those with a soft spot for sweet, faith-affirming stories will be able to overlook the uneven acting and occasional plot-dialogue deficiencies and enjoy this film. Others have fairly granted fewer stars.
Great, Family-friendly Movie
A Viewer | 08/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although the acting isn't always great, the story of the film is awesome. A refreshing and uplifting movie the whole family can watch together without fear of things coming up that you wouldn't want your kids to hear or see. Also re-enforces wholesome moral values. I highly recommend it."