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Directed by Peter Ho-Sun Chan

Hong Kong 2013 112 mins. In Mandarin, English

In 1985, in the midst of China’s economic reform period, three college students in Beijing—an overzealous country boy who refuses to accept his destiny of being a farmer, a cynical intellectual with a superiority complex, and a romantic idealist who wants to be a movie star—bond through a shared fascination with Western literature, music, and movies and an ambition to live the American dream. This sets the three on a roundabout course toward the foundation of a wildly successful English-language tutorial institute—but fame, enormous fortune, and lawsuits test the bonds of ambition. Shot by superstar cinematographer Christopher Doyle and dubbed “the Chinese Social Network,” this seductive, epic tale of business bravado reveals both the spirit and the detail of China’s dramatic economic coming-of-age.