17
Dec
13

Xmas Without China | PBS

Xmas Without China | PBS. Documentary: Chinese Immigrant Tom Xia, who believes his homeland is misunderstood by the American people and media, challenges his neighbors in a Southern California suburb to avoid made-in-China products during the holiday season. (57 minutes). This premieres on PBS on Monday, December 16, 2013 on PBS. The whole video can be see on this link.

I feel this documentary by Tom Xia (Xmas Without China) is really a discovery of Mr. Xia’s ambivalent feeling towards both China and the United States. And the family that is selected to sacrifice their goods made in China for the month of December, similarly voice their ambivalence towards China, especially about poorly made or poisoned products. They are not sure if they should be blaming China for America’s declining economy and the loss of manufacturing jobs.

There are three stories here: One is Tom’s family who came from the mainland years ago,  now very successful, and visit their family back in mainland China at least yearly. In their story, there are brief glimpses of whether they would ever go back to live in China – the answer is definitely not. The backdrop to this story is the decorating of the parents brand new and very large house.

The second story, is not an unfamiliar story. ABC News did this experiment in 2011 – can you live in your house, if everything made in China was taken out? The family is very dumbstruck to find that 90% of their stuff is made in China and has to be put in a storage bin in the front yard.

The third story is the brief glimpses with Tom Xia himself. One telling scene is Tom playing cards with his friends, all naturalized citizens from China. One scene was quite telling, he said that when he was in China, people were always putting down America. And when he is in America, people are always putting down China. At the very end of the documentary, you see Mr. Xia becoming an United States citizen.

Maybe the most important statement

Late in the documentary, Tim, the father whose made in China items have been removed from his house is visiting Tom Xia and his parents at his parents home, and what he says is probably the mainpoint of the whole documentary,”I don’t blame China for its problems, (it’s) the person who has the company who went over to China and isn’t overseeing the product.”

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