A Way Out

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A Way Out


While today’s China offers its youth a promising future, it also brings its share of deceptions

  • Duration: 94’, Ratio: 16/9, Format: HD, Available versions: French, Italian
  • A film by Cherelle Zheng – written by Cherelle Zheng – Editing by Dirk Oetelshoven
  • Produced by Cherelle Zheng, Wolfgang Bergmann, Nianwen Dai, Ming Hou
  • A production by Beijing Channel Zero Media & Lichtfilm GmbH
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What holds the future for contemporary Chinese adolescents? This is the central question that Director Cherell Zheng pursues while filming three Chinese teenagers from different social backgrounds, regions and mindsets.

Yuan Hanhan, a girl from Beijing, drops out of high school at the age of 17. Three years later, bored with her uneventful life in China, Yuan decides to follow her dream and goes to Art school in Germany. Will she stay in Europe or follow a different path?

19-year-old Xu Jia, from the Hubei Province, is preparing hard the annual national college entrance exam for the third year in a row. Both his and his mother’s dream is for Xu to be admitted at a good university. Will he be able to fulfill his dream?

Ma Baijuan, a 12-year-old girl from the Gansu Province, goes to school in a remote village and is enthusiastic about learning at primary school. One of her dreams is to earn enough money to support her family one day. However, after moving to a bigger town, Ma finds it hard to keep up with her classmates at the new school. At 15, she leaves school and tries to find a job. What is the future holding for her?

We follow the protagonists over a period of six years, as their dreams are confronting contemporary Chinese realities and they enter adult life. The observation of their lives helps us to understand the challenges Chinese teen-agers are facing.