I Am Here Screen 4 articles

I Am Here

2014

I Am Here Poster
  • “WTF is this movie?!” I scribbled this note midway through I Am Here, Fan Lixin’s trainwreck of a documentary about Super Boy, an American Idol-style talent show that is a ratings sensation in China. I walked out of three feature films at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, each of which was more competently made than I Am Here, but none was as fascinating.

  • The results come off like part embedded journalist doc, part super-slick entertainment show.

  • FEFF rarely shows documentaries, and this film is far from the nitty-gritty observational mode preferred by China’s independent documentarists. But I am still very glad the film was included.

  • As I said to, and heard from, everyone I encountered afterwards who had been in that theater: “What the fuck was that?” I was exhilarated, and grateful for the opportunity to be so exhilarated, regardless of Lixin’s intentions (which I’d love to learn, but wouldn’t really affect the effect). But I also have no idea what the film was doing in the main documentary slate of the Toronto Film Festival.