"This film maintains a purposefully objective perspective on China-US relations while making a rational and consistent case for the urgent need to deepen understanding between the two countries and societies on both state-to-state and person-to-person levels. It is a must-see for American and Chinese policymakers, specialists in China Studies throughout the world, and anyone who wants to appreciate the complexity of the proverbial Gordian knots that bind the US and China together.”
"I’ve worked on many documentary films in my career, but few have taught me as much about the complicated world we live in as ALL EYES AND EARS. Getting to know how international relations between major powers really work through the “eyes and ears” of Jon Huntsman and his family during his tenure in China is an absolutely unique experience, one that all Americans and world citizens interested in how nations both cooperate and conflict should see. Incredibly close access coupled with the sense of witnessing history make this a project that I’m truly proud to be a part of."
"Zips along with intelligence and wit."
"[...] A timely exploration into the complex links between the U.S. and China. It uses the stories of then-U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, his adopted daughter born in China, Gracie Mei, who narrates the film, and blind civil rights advocate Chen Guangcheng for what director Vanessa Hope calls “the yin and the yang of American relations with China.”
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Vanessa Hope's film "All Eyes and Ears" brings all the different dimensions of America's contentious relationship with China together in one film. The students in my course on Chinese politics at Berkeley found it a fascinating complement to their academic readings. Students were thrilled to have Ms. Hope visit our class to answer questions about the film and talk about some of her harrowing experiences operating as an independent filmmaker in China, calling it "exciting" and "one of the most memorable times I have had at Berkeley.
The period 2009 to 2011 can now be seen as the twilight of one era and the dawn of another. But across the end of President Hu's term in office and the start of President Xi's there are some issues that stay the same: the primacy of the relationship for China with the US, and that relationship's many sticking points. This fascinating film, born from excellent access to Ambassador John Huntsman during his time in China, shows on a very personal level how someone at the heart of the relationship over this period navigated the various perilous shoals and rocks in the relationship, and how they maintained a positive, optimistic outlook. Anyone interested in the most important relationship in the world today should see this charming, engaging documentary.