Recently I watched a film about Christianity in oppressive Communist China, and I felt like it didn’t do a very effective job of showing the transforming nature of belief in Jesus Christ, or have a strong narrative regarding ordeals normal Christians dealt with in that country.
Bamboo In Winter, released in 1990 (on an obvious low budget and mere 58 minute runtime), focuses on the everyday Chinese resident and is set in a rural community, but at a time when cars and televisions are known to citizens — so maybe late 80s, early 90s.
The plot begins with a girl who is home from studying at a university, and enjoying her brief time with her father, a farmer (her mother passed away years earlier). She enjoys the familiar, slower-paced lifestyle, but fully expects to return to college, where she can study modern things she enjoys, like science, logic and topics like Darwinism. When a traveling preacher comes through town though, she humors her elderly grandmother by attending the service, and becomes enthralled with the teachings of the Bible. She asks the preacher one question after another, in an attempt to not only trip him up, but understand why he genuinely believes it’s the word of God.
Ultimately she has to decide between following the teachings of Jesus Christ or going along with what atheist China demands of its citizens, and she makes the difficult, life-altering choice, with minutes to spare before the credits roll.
It may not have the biggest budget, camera quality or best production values, but it certainly has heart, and very good acting throughout. I would definitely recommend this … and even better, it’s free on Amazon Prime.