Directed by Mingjie Tang
Paper Airplane is a romantic drama. While falling in love with a reclusive homeless musician, a self-abandoned, drug-addicted Chinese school girl regains her appetite for life and makes peace with herself.
Watch the Audience Feedback Video:
Born in China, 1996, I had a very normal childhood, but the most special memory for me is waiting for my dad to come home from work on Friday. Together we would watch some films. I loved watching films since I was a kid because I could take what I missed in my life from the dreams built by others. As I grew older, I found out that this world is so disappointing that I decided to make the dreams myself. That’s why I chose to become a writer and director.
I’m interested in telling stories with a poetic style driven by the character’s emotional needs. I strive for my films to resemble a river. When people are watching them, I’d like it to feel like flowing in the stream of romance. The audiences will forget about the passing of time and feel the emotion that captures the moment.
When I was a child, I had bad grades. My mom used to compare me with other children. The daughter of our neighbor entered the best high school in our hometown. The son of her colleague was the top student in his class. This anxiety and agony accompanied me throughout my whole childhood. I was growing up in the shadow of other children who were shining. Self-contemptuous and unconfident are the best words to describe me for a very long time. This phenomenon of academic comparison exists not only in my family but in hundreds and thousands of Chinese families. It’s commonplace that Chinese parents only care about their child’s academic achievements but seldom care about their mental health.
So I made this film to display how unhealthy parenting can distort and destroy a child. The girl in this film is the epitome of Chinese children. So often, children forget that they should live for themselves, instead of their parents. They are supposed to grow up and live the life they want, not just live to satisfy their parents’ wants. In the end, she breaks free and lives for herself, and for her own will. I have the same hope for every child in China.