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CAAMFest 2013

Xmas Without China, and the Spirit of Christmas

Posted March 27th, 2013 by Michael in Student Delegates 2013, CAAMFest 2013

by Anne Wong
2013 Student Delegate

Anne Wong

Tom Xia took a very bold dare with challenging an American family, The Jones survive a whole entire month in December with out any products made from China. The documentary was filled with humorous moments that would get the audience laughing. But there were also many scenes that were extremely self reflective for Tom and The Jones. Tom had the big question, and took steps in answering those questions. Along the way, he learned something new about himself which was the cherry on top to his project. The parallel between the Xia family and the Jones was perfect. The Xia family was shown attempting to assimilate more into the American culture while preserving their own strong Chinese heritage. The Jones learned more about the definition of Christmas aside from materialistic objects that surround us each day.

The big issue of this documentary was the callback on toys from China. Parents everywhere are concerned about the toys that their children interact with everyday. The Jones did go through a slump at times, when it came to buying Christmas gifts or let alone light up their house. They became frustrated and impatient and realized the cost of this challenge was more than just dollar signs. It began to crush their spirits about Christmas. But in the end, they learned that being together as a family is what matters the most. And through this challenge, they came through a realization for the better of their family. Also, they made a great life long friendship with the Xiaʼs.

It was very interesting to see this side of the documentary because I personally have never fully celebrated Christmas just like the Jones. It made me think about what the meaning of Christmas meant to my family and me. Personally, I felt much more relatable to Tom because I felt like I was in the same position as him. As an American born Chinese, I am in a constant link between the world and to my parents. Just like Tom, they expect me to help them translate and explain to others in order to communicate. Tom may never felt exactly torn between his two identities, but knew it was important to maintain both sides because that is a part of who he is.

This documentary shows the reality of consumerism. It gives a perspective of how much consumerism has taken over our lives. I loved this documentary because it address issues that most people are not aware about. I think it would be a great film to show in lectures. It is also enjoyable to watch because it has such a personal flare to it. The audience is able to connect with the film rather than just filtering in information. I have already contacted my professors and told them about the documentary. XMAS WITHOUT CHINA is already a hit within CAAMFEST, but letʼs take it to the next level!

It was also a great experience talking to Tom Xia and asking him questions about the documentary. He told us some of the challenges he went through in going with the filming. He also mentioned that he tried his best not to be too involved in the film, the but the story line intertwined beautifully. I think Tomʼs story and the Joneʼs story is a great step for people to start to accept and understand the different cultures. That beauty of America is not just black and white, but it is interwoven.

XMAS WITHOUT CHINA directed by Tom Xia

Chosen from a large competitive pool of undergraduate and graduate students, the Student Delegates are a small yet diverse group of students who rigorously train at CAAMFest “boot camp.” Under guidance from festival staff, student delegates participate in an intense schedule of music events, cooking events, film screenings, discussions, and exclusive meetings with filmmakers and special guests. The program aims to cultivate the next generation of filmmakers, activists, educators, and community leaders. Check back for blogs from all of the 2013 student delegates!

Southwest Airlines is a proud sponsor of CAAM’s Student Delegate Program. Selected CAAM Internship Program applicants may qualify for complimentary air travel, courtesy of Southwest Airlines.