Fengkuang Yingyu (1999)

Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - China   |  
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Synopsis by Mark Deming

Are you living in mainland China and want to learn English? Chances are good you're having Li Yang teach you how. This documentary looks at the life and times of Li Yang, who has become a national phenomenon in China. Combining a showman's flair and a salesman's nerve, Li Yang leads stadium-size groups of people in a simplified program of basic English, teaching such valuable phrases as "No pain, no gain" and "Only crazy people can be successful" and walking a fine line between overcoming the traditional Asian fear of losing face and instilling a fierce nationalistic pride. Though Li Yang has never traveled outside mainland China, his fascination with Western marketing and educational techniques have served him well as he aims to bring the English language to the Chinese masses. Fengkuang Yingyu received its North American premiere at the 1999 Toronto Film Festival.