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The Wandering Earth

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Kim Leng
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The Wandering Earth

The Wandering Earth (2019), directed by Frant Gwo, is a science fiction film about China taking the lead to save planet Earth. In this future, the situation on Earth is dire as drought, extinction of species, and wildfires are constant. Scientists also predicted the extinction of the sun in 100 years.  Humanity joined together in this time of crisis and formed United Earth Government or UEG.  The plan is to not wait for the sun to swallow up Earth.  The world gathered its best scientists and humanity soon set off on a mission alongside the international space station.  Liu Peiqiang is one of the astronauts chosen to reside in the space station and he leaves behind a young son, Liu Qi, to the care of his father.

Meanwhile, on Earth, people worked together to build 10,000 engines to move Earth 4.2 light-years away from our current location. This is called The Wandering Earth Project. After a decade, the project is going as planned until Earth’s course sets it on a path towards a collision with Jupiter. Liu Qi is now in his late teen years and he devises a new plan to save Earth.  When Earth appears to be on the cusp of extinction, it is up to the Chinese to save the day!

I only wanted to view ten minutes of the film, but became immediately fascinated by the storyline and this action-packed film. Despite one disaster after another, it appears that the Chinese will always have a plan to save the Earth.

The visuals in this film are simply amazing!  We are living in a time with unpredictable climate changes.  California has seen so many wild fires. We have had hurricanes and storms that are devastating. Many species are becoming extinct.  After watching the film, I will have students reflect on our current environmental issues and how such issues can hurt humanity.

Marcos Rico
Topic replies: 87
Topic Posts: 10
The Wandering Earth

Dear Kim,

         Thank you for your review. I had seen this movie on my Netflix but have not watch it yet. The title did not pull my attention, but now thanks to your review I will give it a shot. By the way thanks for your great review, without any spoilers, it is greatly appreciated. Not sure if my wife will enjoy the movie(she prefers horror and romantic) , but I am sure that my teenage sons will enjoy it.  


Diana Corey
Topic replies: 30
Topic Posts: 4
Wandering Earth in Chinese Class

I think many of my students will be interested in this movie. I am not sure yet what unit I could fit it into or create around it, but I would introduce supplemental vocabulary like the words for planets, elements, and some key phrases like "save me" and "go on living" that come up throughout the film. As a writing assignment, students could write a summary or reaction in Chinese, or could create their own story with similar elements trying out some supplemental vocabulary. I would be interested to get ahold of the original story in Chinese to share excerpts along with the film. Students can identify similarities and differences in the story and the movie and can use the text to help them better articulate their thoughts on the film in Chinese. 

Jonathan Tam
Topic replies: 88
Topic Posts: 28
Comparisons between Film and Novella

The lens that I had as I went into the film was juxtaposing the film with the novella, but to speak to the film as a whole: it is pretty entertaining, visually appealing, and definitely something that I think western audiences will enjoy. The production company definitely put a lot of effort towards making cities look frozen, technology look futuristic, and the circumstances very apocalyptic. Like Professor Bernard mentioned, the novella does differ significantly from the film - but a major difference is definitely in the use of culture. The film itself definitely has a lot more aspects of chinese family and chinese customs. The bond between the grandfather and his grandson and granddaughter while the father lives away on the space station is very reminiscent of some of the modern family dynamics that were discussed in class - the fact that the grandfather is largely in the role of the grandson. In an early part of the film, the grandfather attempts to bail his grandkids out of jail - only to be thrown in jail himself like a simpleton for trying to bail the guards out. His attempts at bailing go into the gifts that one would usually present another in chinese cultures - gifts in nice wrappings and boxes. This enhanced chinese cultural portrayal definitely seems to be a way the film tries to push for chinese nationalism and is a point worth talking about in comparison to other space films. No parts of the film are inapprorpriate for class and The Wandering Earth (both read and then viewed) can be an incredibly insightful component to any English, History or even Science class.

It is incredibly cheesey though and painfully predictable, so 7/10