Peter Chan’s “American Dreams in China” Wins Support of Chinese Entrepreneurs

Hong Kong director Peter Chan (陳可辛) was recently invited to this year’s Boao Forum for Asia (博鰲亞洲論壇) Annual Conference, which brings together government, business, and academic leaders from around the globe to discuss world issues. The conference featured a screening of Peter’s upcoming film, American Dreams in China <中國合伙人>, which tells the story of three Chinese entrepreneurs and their dreams of success in the business world. The movie has caught the attention of many prominent entrepreneurs, who praised the film for its realistic storyline and humanizing themes.

American Dreams in China stars mainland actors Huang Xiaoming (黃曉明), Deng Chao (鄧超), and Tong Dawei (佟大為) as close friends with great entrepreneurial aspirations. This motley team of country bumpkin (Xiaoming), overseas student (Deng Chao), and nationalistic youth (Dawei) decides to take charge of its own destiny and establish an English language school. The film, which will release on May 18, follows their journey from the 1980s era to the beginning of the 21st century, showcasing the many transformations during these thirty years.

In February, Peter Chan was invited to the Yabuli Forum (亞布力論壇), one of China’s highest-level entrepreneurial annual meetings, to show a preview of American Dreams in China. The invitation was extended by businessman Wang Shi (王石), the owner of China Vanke (萬科), which is the largest real estate enterprise in mainland China. At the Yabuli Forum, many leading businessmen flocked to a discussion titled “The Chinese-Style Partners in the Eyes of Peter Chan.” Even though this event took place late at night, so many people showed up that the hosting organization had to add seats at the last minute.

The preview of American Dreams in China led to much interest among the attendees, especially the history between the three friends and their entrepreneurial story. Wang Shi shared that the movie was “very true” in its story of the youngsters’ business venture, as well as its depiction of the changes China has gone through in the past thirty years. “I personally feel,” said Wang, “that, after Comrades: Almost a Love Story <甜蜜蜜>, American Dreams in China is Peter Chan’s most important work.”

After its success at the Yabuli Forum, advanced screenings for American Dreams in China were held at this year’s BFA Annual Conference, as well as at an entrepreneurial event in Beijing at the end of March. Many viewers were moved to tears and expressed that the film will impact different generations in different ways, saying, “It will cause the post-50s people to ponder, the post-60s people to be touched, the post-70s people to tremble, the post-80s people to model it, and the post-90s people to be enlightened.” One viewer said that even though current overseas students and business people are very different from the ones depicted in the movie, “there are still some things that perhaps are everlasting and enough to move me.”

Although American Dreams in China may seem like its focus is on extolling the lives of various entrepreneurs, director Peter Chan says that the film is not a “personal biographical film.” In his opinion, there are many stories among China’s entrepreneurs that have the potential to be filmed, but he refuses to specialize in filming biographies for certain companies or business people. “What I want to film is the humanizing aspects in these stories,” he shared.

“American Dreams in China” Trailer

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American Dreams in China 5  American Dreams in China 3  American Dreams in China 4


This article is written by Joanna for

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  1. This movie sounds very interesting. Should be a quite inspiring movie.

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