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China, 1999 (MIFF 2000, Documentaries)

Director: Zhang Yuan

"What is the most concrete way to love your country?... To love your country is to study English well!... Crazy English! Crazy life! Crazy work! Crazy study! Crazy everyday! I want to be crazy! I love this crazy game"—Li Yang

Welcome to the world of Li Yang, China's most famous motivational speaker. Lecturing students, citizens and the Peoples Liberation Army at the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and various stadiums, this charismatic orator has to be seen to be believed. Li leads his massive audiences on a joy ride through American English, in order to build a strong country and to make 'international money'. Gradually it becomes clear that there is a darker side to Li's nationalist feelings. After all, he can make his students shout out anything he wants. Director Zhang Yuan's direct, crisp approach casually exposes the mechanisms of demagogy and mass hysteria. Crazy English provides a fascinating insight into contemporary China. An extremely perceptive film about a passionate man and the creation of a popular hero.

See also...


China, 2005
“One of the best films from China within the past few years.” - The Guardian Seen through the eyes of a four year-old boy, Little Red Flowers vividly realises the struggles of fitting into a pos… More »


China, 1995
... ... Who knows what happens behind closed doors? The postman, if he opens your mail. And this guy doesn't knock twice before meddling in the lives he uncovers. Adultery, prostitution and drugs are… More »


China, 1996
The Li household is a typical Beijing family, and a real Beijing family too. In this sensational docudrama, they re-enact their domestic history. The confronting results make Sylvania Waters look lik… More »


China/Italy, 1999
Winner of the Best Director award at the Venice Film Festival last year, Seventeen Years is a potent examination of a dysfunctional family and how human feelings can come back to life when on the ver… More »

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