Hot Docs review: Life Is A Belief

Heartbreakingly beautiful documentary profiles two hardship-stricken families in China


LIFE IS A BELIEF (Han Xiao, China). 106 minutes. Rating: NNNN


Two stories about hardship-stricken families in China run parallel in Xiao’s heartbreakingly beautiful documentary.

Huang and his girlfriend don’t have their parents’ approval, and their struggle to overcome familial and financial struggles is compounded when they learn their baby will be born with a congenital heart disease. Meanwhile, in a remote area of China, Ahet’s family struggles to find a kidney donor for his dying nephew.   

These stories unfold almost romantically thanks to slow pacing and scenic cinematography. Life Is A Belief puts into perspective how similar our basic wants of love, health and acceptance are despite differences in place and culture.

Apr 28, 3 pm, TBLB 4 Apr 30, 5:30 pm, Innis Town Hall May 4, 3 pm, Scotia bank 13

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