In this politically-oriented melodrama, Mr. Bao is a hard-working housekeeper whose aspirations for his son lighten his days -- he is saving all his money to pay for a good education for Bao, Jr. so that he can become a respected government official and actually be somebody. Bao Jr., on the other hand, is a profligate wastrel whose only cares about hanging out with rich kids so he can appear to be much more than what he is. He does not study at school, and when the film opens, his father is reading a letter from him that explains he has just flunked his exams and will not pass to the next level in school. This only makes his father worry about how he will be able to pay for an extra year of studies -- and he ultimately decides to borrow the money since he does not have it. He is blind to the selfish nature of his son, to his total lack of interest in school and to his immorality. A gap as wide as the Grand Canyon separates the saintly father from the evil, egocentric son, so the emphasis on the virtues of the working classes as opposed to the vile elite is about as subtle as chicken pox.
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