A Chinese family moves to a big city to make a living. The father and his son, Xiao Lee, an 18-year-old teenager who dreams of becoming a singer, begin working hard labor in a Christmas decoration factory. Reluctant to face reality, Xiao Lee decides to make a change to pursue his dream. The tragedy is in store for this young man and his poor family as they attempt to make a change.
I can’t say I know much about how things are done in China. I’ve heard things here and there like everyone else but I don’t know enough to say what really goes on in factories, what I do know is enough about this short film “Before Christmas” and what’s going on is a bleak, broken tale of depressing realism that is sadly, most likely all too common in that country. It’s about a young teen who wants to become a singer but is forced to work in a job he hates that strips him and his family of any identity. His dreams are viewed as ridiculous and pointless by his co-workers and even his own family. Even the smallest, slimmest chance of finding a means to make his musical dreams happen gets shot down.
It’s less of a story and more of a grim reminder of how things are in parts of the world beyond our own. Not everyone has the luxury of having supportive environments or people in our lives when it comes to our dreams. The film is short but to the point; the message is loud and clear and paints a vividly clear picture of the grim reality of others. Can’t really say much against the film, but can’t say much for it either. It feels more like a PSA than a film, with a painful message that is hammered in every step of the way. Overall an effective film and a quick means of giving people a firsthand look at how certain things are handled in China.
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Movie Rating: 4 stars.
Movie Rating Guide
1 Star = Unwatchable
2 Stars = Cannot Recommend
3 Stars = Great for the Fans
4 Stars = A Solid Movie
5 Stars = Must Own (DVD/Stream Download)