Journalism Movie Hailed as ‘Courageous Start’ Wins Over Audiences
A new Chinese movie about one reporter’s tireless efforts to expose discriminatory practices against people living with hepatitis has won praise from audiences, a nod to the growing appetite among viewers for realistic content.
“The Best Is Yet to Come” features a young journalist vying to report on the prejudices faced by those living with hepatitis B virus, which causes inflammation of the liver. While the movie was theatrically released Friday, it has already won several awards after being screened at international film festivals since 2020.
The two-hour movie is loosely based on the real-life story of Han Fudong, a reputed journalist who wrote about the plight of those living with hepatitis B after reporting on China’s first lawsuit against such discrimination in 2003. At that time, over 100 million people were living with hepatitis B and were denied from enrolling at schools and the workplace.
Han’s reporting eventually led to a significant regulatory change in 2007, when the central government authorities introduced a ban on related unfair practices, following the cancelation of a testing requirement for civil service candidates two years earlier. In “The Best Is Yet to Come,” actor Zhang Songwen, known for his role in hit crime drama “The Knockout,” plays the role of Han’s mentor.
On review platform Douban, “The Best Is Yet to Come” has scored a rating of 7.3 out of 10 from nearly 40,000 reviews as of Monday. Though some have questioned the movie’s plot and its female representation — it has been criticized for using women as mere props — many viewers said they were inspired by the strength and courage of the main characters pursuing their journalistic ambitions.
“The Best Is Yet to Come” comes at a time when movies and series discussing realistic topics have gained growing public acceptance in an industry long dominated by fantasy and romance. In 2018, the dark comedy “Dying to Survive,” which shed light on the suffering of cancer patients, racked up nearly $450 million in box office revenue.
“While we used to see this only in U.S. and European movies, now our movies are shedding light on stories about the news industry and its professionals,” acclaimed director Zheng Dasheng said during the movie’s prescreening on March 20. “It takes great responsibility to film the story, and it marks a courageous start.”
Editor: Bibek Bhandari.
(Header image: A promotional photo for “The Best Is Yet to Come.” From Douban)