THE OVERSEAS CALL, 15min., Drama, China
Directed by Nan (Alianora) Zou
Upon receiving a job offer in the United States, a Chinese international student is forced to make a choice between retreating to her familiar home and background or stiffly forging her first step towards individuality during a video call with her parents.
As a Chinese international student myself, I am surrounded by people who have left their home at a young age. Living in a foreign country, we have to make ourselves competitive in our academics as well as take care of every trifle things in our lives. Although some international students successfully immerse themselves in the new environment who appear to be very ambitious and independent, there are a certain amount of students find difficulty in fitting in and become the so called “always quiet Asian students”. They are not necessarily shy or uninteresting, often times it’s just because they don’t know how to behave in a much more open Western culture, very different from how they were brought up. They grew up in a relatively protective and disciplined family, in which parents tend to make choices for their kids because they don’t believe their kids are mature enough to decide on their own. Chinese culture values family and filial piety while Western culture encourages people to stand up for themselves even at a young age. Chinese international students, facing two very different cultures and ideologies, would find themselves in a quandary-- want to break away from their background but can’t transform themselves into another culture easily. They question their origins and themselves. They are eager to know who they can be when they leave their home and enter the big society. Young adulthood is a period of extreme anxiety and perplexities, but also with much passion, sincerity, and possibilities.