In 2005, Qian Hui Deng and Xue Mei Li received notice from the Canadian government that their son Shi-Ming had allegedly died by suicide and was buried on Canadian soil. With no further details provided other than his death certificate and a box with his belongings, they decide to travel from Beijing to Vancouver to investigate the mysterious circumstances around Shi-Ming’s death.
Skilfully employing a docu-thriller style, director Ying Wang follows the grieving parents for over a decade as they navigate a new culture and a complex web of bureaucracy in a search for answers. While tracing Shi-Ming’s footsteps through reenactments and interviews with those closest to him, Wang reveals a distressing connection between the act of immigration and mental illness – a vulnerability that his parents come to understand firsthand. In creating a vital space to discuss mental health within immigrant communities, The World Is Bright also serves as a powerful testament to parental devotion. By bravely sharing their story, the Dengs turn their grief into an act of hope.
VAFF runs from November 7th to 10th. The World is Bright screens on Friday, November 8th at 9pm.
Reel Causes partners with filmmakers and Canadian causes dedicated to addressing global social justice issues. We host film screenings followed by a Q&A session to educate and inspire our community, and provide a forum for authentic conversation around the issues that affect us locally.