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Movie screening ‘Better Angels’
21st November 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
At a time when the world’s two acknowledged superpowers seem to be moving closer towards economic and political conflict, a new feature documentary by two-time Academy Award®–winning director Malcolm Clarke explores how the destiny of both countries became so deeply and inextricably intertwined. By examining the day-to-day lives of ordinary Chinese and American citizens this feature-length documentary asks: Can the United States survive the rise of China? Is confrontation inevitable? Or, by rediscovering our Better Angels, can we find a way to grow beyond our mutual suspicions and misperceptions, to create a stable and prosperous alliance that could benefit the entire world?
Better Angels, produced over five years, shot on four continents, and created with the participation of three former U.S. Secretaries of State – including Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright – captures compelling stories that highlight the global stakes, challenges and opportunities of the world’s most important bilateral relationship.
The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to join Malcolm Clarke (Director), William Mundell and Yi Han (Producers) in the screening of the Better Angels documentary (approx. 92 minutes) which will be followed by a discussion and Q&A session with the filmmakers.
Malcolm Clarke – Emmy & Academy Award-winning Director & Producer began his career in his native England making films for the BBC. He subsequently joined Granada TV‘s ‘World in Action’ unit, assigned to investigate the death of the South African political activist Steven Biko. Shot entirely in secret, ‘The Life and Death of Steve Biko’ resulted in Biko’s murder becoming a global cause-célèbre. After winning the Monte Carlo Film Festival Mr. Clarke was invited to New York to produce and direct films for the ABC’s ‘Close-Up’ Documentary Unit. Clarke has since made films in more than eighty countries, frequently assigned to portray volatile people in extreme situations; Torturers, Serial Killers, Vigilantes, Mercenaries, Mobsters and the Yakuza were the focus of Clarke‘s later documentary films, garnering awards at several international film festivals – plus an Emmy, three Ace Awards and two Oscars. Nominated for an Academy Award for ‘Best Documentary Feature’ – ‘Prisoner’ won the Directors’ Guild of America Award for Best Documentary and the Writers’ Guild Award. Clarke also won ‘Best Director’ at the Directors’ Guild of Canada and the coveted ‘John Grierson Award’ presented by the British Academy of Film & Television. In February 2014 the Academy of Motion Pictures awarded Clarke’s film; ‘The Lady in Number 6’ the OSCAR for Best Documentary Short Subject, Malcolm Clarke’s fourth Academy Award nomination and his second Academy Award.
William Mundell – Entrepreneur, film producer and political activist. He was an adjunct professor at UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management, and is an honorary professor at Tsinghua University in China. In 2005, Mr. Mundell formed Californians For Fair Redistricting to advance fair redistricting reform. In 2010, he was the executive producer of Gerrymandering, a national documentary which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and focuses on the use of gerrymandering to fix elections and protect incumbents. It was widely credited with creating sweeping political reform in California. In 2013, he embarked on a feature documentary movie titled Better Angels about the US-China relationship.
Han Yi – Multiple award-winning film producer, specializing in international co-production, strategic marketing and the distribution of China-related independent films. Prior to focusing on the film business, Yi Han was an anchor and news reporter for Sichuan TV & China Central Television. She holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from Carleton University, Canada. Her work as a producer includes the internationally acclaimed Last Train Home, China Heavyweight & Heart of A Tiger. In the summer of 2018 she completed work on her directorial debut film In My Eyes – the only Chinese documentary in Official Selection at the 2018 Shanghai International Film Festival.
The Henry Jackson society was pleased to host a screening of the new feature documentary Better Angels, directed by two-time Academy Award winner Malcolm Clarke. Better Angels comes at a time when the world’s two established superpowers, the U.S. and China, seem to be experiencing friction in the economic and political spheres and seeks to understand why and how the fates of these two nations are so intrinsically linked. This question is examined at many levels of society, with the participation of heavyweight elites such as Henry Kissinger interwoven with accounts of the day-to-day lives of ordinary Chinese and American citizens, giving the audience a sense of the scale of bilateral ties between the two nations.
Produced over five years and filmed across four continents, Better Angels seeks to pose questions regarding the future of these two nations: will the US inevitably be eclipsed by China and if so how will this confrontation manifest itself? Can the Better Angels of both nations prevail to allow the world’s most powerful geopolitical connection to grow into a partnership that could provide benefits across the globe?
With Director Malcolm Clarke in attendance alongside producers William Mundell and Han Yi we were pleased to welcome a lively crowd to the Karma Sanctum in Soho for a special screening of this feature. The film itself, narrated by Mr Clarke, powerfully extrapolated the nature of Sino-American relations across the full spectrum of both populations and displayed hopeful intentions for the future.
After the screening questions were invited. A robust series of discussions ensued, with both the film staff and the audience displaying their knowledge of the present, past, and potential futures of this crucial relationship. Being able to hear from the director and producers of Better Angels allowed for a deeper understanding of some of the issues put forward in the feature and added context to the motivations of the filmmakers in bringing these issues to light in this way.
The Henry Jackson Society would like to thank Mr Clarke, Mr Mundell and Ms Yi for participating in this screening as well as all those who attended and the Karma Sanctum Soho.