Expand Partners San Diego Comic Con 2014 Expand Partners
Death By China

Death By China

On DVD: 
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Running Time: 
1 Hour, 18 Minutes

~Director's Statement
~Theme Song Music Video
~Directors Cmmentary
~Official Trailer
~Short Film "Death By Chinese Junk"

Death By China, Narrated by Martin Sheen, is director Peter Navarro’s look at how and why America is slowly but surely entering the death throes of its existence thanks to the aggressive nature of China as it consumes American jobs, produces mediocre if not lackluster products from those industries at a fraction of the cost, and abuses its workforce to create an unfair business edge that no country that supports human rights can match. Scary business.

While Death By China really puts the fear in you it also fails to make itself accessible to every day people. One example might be that the names and faces in the documentary that we see spilling out facts, facts that come off as simple heresy as they are formed in opinion rather then given weight by documentation or archival news footage that isn’t seconds long, will be unfamiliar to anyone who does not follow politics or business. Call me jaded, but all I saw were men and women in suits who seemed more concerned with vilifying by means of, what I could only call, propaganda techniques. 

Is China bad? Sure. I’ve seen other documentaries and films about China that do corroborate some of the evidence found herein, in slight, but at times the documentary goes off the deep end as it attempts to go from one extreme to the next.

One example of the documentary going to extremes is going from business tactics to health concerns by way of, “China is poisoning our children.” One spokesperson who comes out, in one of those “I mean well” tone of voices, waxes poetic about how they refuse to buy certain toys and they always check that the product they buy is not made in China. Again, this is where the documentary loses the every day person. It’s like eating healthy, everybody wants to try it every now and then, but only those who can afford to eat healthy really do it. The documentary makes note time and time again that people are struggling for work, low on money, hungry in the streets, but then forgets the motivation of the blue collar workforce, who this documentary leans towards time and time again, that can’t afford to be picky about what they buy and don’t buy. If it’s cheap, it’s what we buy.

Mind you, all of the information found within the documentary serves a purpose, sometimes that purpose seems lost, but even when the documentary goes on a humanitarian ramble about China selling its citizens off for parts, it just doesn’t know how to deliver it without making it seem malicious.

Is this a good documentary? Sort of. I think if you’re a business person who lives in the upper class whose future lives or dies by how the American economy survives and adapts to China’s ever growing aggressive work tactic, then yes. If you’re like me, you live pay check to pay check, have no real say weather or not the government and big corporations handle selling this country off piece by piece, then no. It will only infuriate you and possibly give you that one thing you’re going to hate to help you feel better about not having a great job. Its basically the immigration issue on a larger scale with a bit more doomsday to boot. We’ll see how the documentary does during its run though.   

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
Follow him @ Twitter
Friend him @ Facebook