What’s it like being an American Christian in China? The answer to that question might not be the easiest image to paint, especially for someone who has never been to China, but from what I’ve heard it certainly has its ups and downs. Now I wanted to see this movie, despite never traveling to China, and I was hoping this would be entertaining, inspirational, and culturally accurate. Home Beyond the Sun certainly is a unique concept for a movie so it does have an original premise.
Home Beyond the Sun is about an American teacher who has traveled overseas to teach English in the Chinese public school system. The Peoples’ Republic is a bit of a culture shock for Jenna, however, due to the fact they aren’t so tolerant of her Christian faith and of course there’s also their 1 child policy. One day after school, she meets a very cute, eight year old girl. Jenna discovers this little girl lives at an orphanage and has compassion for each of the children; some who were abandoned due to the one child policy. After becoming more actively involved with the orphanage and its children, this American Christian unintentionally clashes with the Chinese status quo; Colonel Kahn and others.
It’s hard to say how culturally accurate Home Beyond the Sun is, because again I’ve never been to China, but from what I could tell it seemed like they tried their best; after all this is said to be based on a true story. Because of my inexperience, I’m not going to factor that thought too heavily for this review, however there are still several good and bad things I can say about the film. One thing I didn’t like so much was the music; it was like it was from a bad Hallmark movie. (there are some decent ones, but most I’ve heard don’t have very good music) I also felt Ehr Neung was a bit over dramatized as a villain, but I blame that on the actress rather than the character themselves. I liked each of the plot twists, because they certainly made the story more interesting; especially the little girl’s birth. I also liked the actress who played Mama Ming and the actor who played Colonel Kahn. I thought the general theme of Matthew 19:26 was appropriate for the persecution and struggles characters had endured. All in all, there were things which definitely could have used improvement, but I thought this was a decent film and certainly does give an American like me more of an appreciation for the Bill of Rights.
TCP Movie Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars.