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The Boy with A Guitar

The World is Bright


The World is Bright

Length: 90 min feature film
Genre: documentary
Language: English & Mandarin with English subtitles
Stage: post production
Release date: 2019

In the early 1990s, when China marched towards modernization, Shi Ming dreamed of becoming a rock star like his hero Cui Jian, the “Father of Chinese Rock”. His dreams led him to Canada in 1999 where one day he discovered his powers: the incredible ability to control lights with his mind. But there were mysterious characters following and watching Shi Ming from the shadows. Were they FBI or Chinese security? 

On his 33rd birthday, 6 years after he came to Canada, Shi Ming emailed his parents in Beijing: "Dad, I'll be home soon." One month later, his parents received a call from Interpol telling them their son had been murdered. Two months later, they learnt that the RCMP buried Shi Ming in an unmarked grave in Vancouver.

The sudden and mysterious circumstances around Shi Ming’s death begged many questions and reeked of suspicion. His father and mother, Mr. Deng and Ms. Li, set off on a quest to Canada to uncover the truth about how their son truly died.

Through the parents' odyssey the film sheds light into the darkness of the immigrant experience, especially among the large population of young migrants who are increasingly vulnerable to mental health risks and falling into the black hole of cultural alienation and identity loss. 

Shot over a period of 10 years, with exclusive access to the main characters, their personal diaries, emails, letters, family photos, legal documents, and archival footage, The Boy With A Guitar is an intimate human portrait of a young man’s tragedy and a rare revelation of the Kafkaesque encounter with state bureaucracy within the context of contemporary global migration.

Jian Ping Su
Ying Wang
Jordan Paterson
Wei Zhang  

Pieter Stathis

Associate Producer
Lawrence Le Lam

Writer & Director
Ying Wang

Pieter Stathis
Jian Ping Su

Story Editor
Natasha Damiano

Editor & Co-writer/director of Reenactment
Lawrence Le Lam

Project Partners
gYu Films International
Rare Earth Media
Raw Camera Company

Non-theatrical Distribution (Canada)
Moving Image Distribution Society

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.