Christine Choy's bittersweet, seriocomic documentary Second Spring probes an interesting phenomenon that transpires on the Chinese mainland but is seldom known or acknowledged by westerners. In China, the government demands that individuals retire in their fifties, which forces older generations -- from sixtysomethings on up -- to cultivate and busy themselves with pastimes, from painting to inventing to tennis. With much humor and a great deal of heart, Choy profiles several middle-aged Chinese citizens -- all embarking on this sophomore act of their lives. These include Qi Gong fanatic Xu Li Juan and her husband, Tong Chung Hui; Shanghai-based artist Xu Yun Zhang, left by his wife and children, who have moved to the United States; and the beautiful fiftysomething Chen Yin Er, who uses her free time to prepare skin lotions. Throughout, Choy underscores the excitement and pleasure experienced by these individuals as they move into long periods of retirement and set about reinventing themselves.
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