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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An Interesting film that could have been Better
11 March 2017 | by (Austin, TX, United States) – See all my reviews

Maineland was well-received at its world premiere at SXSW Film Festival. It is an interesting look at Chinese exchange students going attending a private school in Maine. The director does an intrepid job following the young high school students lives from urban China to the contrast of rural Maine. Some of the scenes are certainly entertaining, but the film seems to lack a clear direction and story arc. It does too little to clearly explore the sociological impact of both the young people and how they impacted those around them. They didn't really focus on the racism they experienced or the impact on their peers. There was too much of just cinema verite presentation without really clearly steering the narrative clearly enough. Often the exchange students seem just like any other student coming-of-age, but that doesn't provide a very intriguing story for the audience. A different editing of the same material might well have produced a more compelling portrait of what happens when cultures collide.


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