PREVIEW: Boring down on US-China relations with “Better Angels”

Last Updated: March 30, 2020By Tags: ,

On January 29th, 1979, President Jimmy Carter and Chinese Deputy Premier Deng Xiaoping signed historic accords, reversing years of U.S. opposition to China. But now, on the forty-year anniversary of this normalization, the U.S. and China are at the threshold of what many fear is a new cold war.

“Better Angels,” a documentary directed by two-time Academy Award winner Malcolm Clarke, explores the complex and oft-chaotic relationship between the world’s two superpowers. The film asserts a probing look into why the United States and China must, for the sake of global economic and political stability, work towards collaborative, mutually beneficial engagement. “Better Angels” adds to our understanding of why the destinies of both countries have become irreversibly intertwined.

With the participation of three former U.S. Secretaries of State who were architects of US-China policy—Henry Kissinger, James Baker and Madeleine Albright, and unprecedented access to their Chinese counterparts—“Better Angels” tells the compelling stories of American and Chinese citizens, from Alabama to Shanghai, Iowa to Beijing, whose lives have become interconnected in startling and surprising ways.

“Better Angels” poses critical questions: How will the United States deal with the rise of China? Is confrontation inevitable? Or, by rediscovering our “Better Angels,” can we find a way to grow beyond mutual suspicion and misperception, and create a stable and prosperous alliance that could benefit the entire world?

Produced over five years and shot on four continents, “Better Angels” confronts head-on the global stakes, challenges and opportunities of the world’s most important international relationship.

COMING SOON: our full review of “Better Angels.”