Washed-up tech entrepreneur Jimmy Van Horn has had it with the stars and stripes: He’s heading to Shenzhen, a former Chinese fishing village that’s now the biggest city Americans have never heard of. “America is dead,” proclaim the expatriates who have left their homeland behind for a shot at the new frontier, where the wheels of industry spin so fast it seems impossible to walk down the street without making money—if you know the right people.
Luckily, Jimmy’s got a friend at the gateway to this silicon Shangri-La. Bob Grainger has been in Shenzhen a long time, and it shows: With new teeth and a blond wig, he looks 20 years younger. He promises Jimmy the same transformation. Bob’s got friends too: Vincent, a Chinese tech heir who employs thousands of workers to produce brand knockoffs, and his sidekick Specialist, a self-proclaimed genius who abandoned the Mojave Desert for the Far East but maintains a profound disdain for his native countrymen as his birthright. With friends like these, who needs enemies? As it turns out, Americans in China do: In this mesmerizingly off-kilter slice of cinéma vérité shot with handheld cameras by director John Maringouin (Running Stumbled, DFF29; Big River Man, DFF32), it’s only here that enemies make dreams come true.
Director John Maringouin will be in attendance for the Sat. Nov. 10th and Sun. Nov. 11th screenings.
Producer: Molly Lynch, John Maringouin, John Montague, George Rush, Sean Gillane | Editor: Sean Gillane, John Maringouin | Cinematographer: John Maringouin, Justin Donais, Nate Slevin | Screenwriter: John Maringouin
Cast: David Zellner, Specialist, Robert Longstreet, J.R. Cazet, Vincent Xie, Carrie Gege Zhang