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On Wednesday 16 November, Chinese language students in Years 7-9 went on an excursion to Palace Nova Eastend Cinema as part of their Chinese curriculum, to see the movie ‘I Am What I Am’《雄狮少年》by Sun Haipeng and Li Zelin. The film is based in Guangdong, China, and follows the journey of an 18-year-old boy named Gyun, his mentor Sifu, and his best friends, Kat, and Doggy.

All his life, Gyun admired lion-dancing and wanted to become a lion-dancer. However, there were a few problems. He was considered a ‘loser’ and was bullied by everyone for his scrawny appearance and lack of social status. On top of this, Gyun had a tough home life as he was raised by his grandfather and hadn’t seen his parents in years. After tragedy strikes, Gyun is forced to become the breadwinner for his family and has to make a difficult decision regarding his lion-dancing future. The movie follows his transformation from a ‘loser’ to a lion-dancing champion and the challenges he faces along the way.

The film is an animated comedy/drama and conveys the themes of coming of age, adventure, family, and friendship as well as providing viewers with an insight into the lion dancing culture in China, and the connection that Chinese people have to this tradition. Overall, the boys all had an amazing time at the cinema and loved watching the movie.

Stephen Lacroix-Sneyd
Year 9 student