The World Is Bright

The World Is Bright

(2019, 116 minutes)
When an only child dies mysteriously abroad, his parents leave Beijing to find out why. Answers don't come easily in a 10-year journey that exposes flawed immigration policies, a systemic stigma of mental illness, and a Kafkaesque state bureaucracy at the heart of global migration.

A couple of working professionals in Beijing send their only child Shi Ming to study abroad for a better future. When they receive notice from Interpol that their son has died and is already buried in Canada, they travel to Vancouver to investigate the mysterious circumstances of his death. So begins a long and arduous legal battle to understand how a seemingly healthy young Canadian immigrant could have died and why he was buried so quickly.

Filmmaker Ying Wang documented their ten-year journey to seek the truth, examining the intersection of immigration, family expectations and mental health. It's an emotional and physical roller coaster of a journey that exposes some ugly truths about the Canadian immigration system and its treatment of newcomers living with mental health issues. With the patience and insight of a master filmmaker, The World is Bright effortlessly synthesizes themes of the stigma surrounding mental illness, the invisible mechanisms of control in our modern life, the dislocation produced through global migration and the perpetual search for meaning into a single story of modest grandeur. Produced in partnership with gYu Films International Inc.

To learn more about the story of Shi Ming family's legal case and the societal transformation of China and around the world, visit:

Director: Ying Wang
Producers: Jordan Paterson, Jian Ping Su, Ying Wang

For educational licensing (DSLs) and educational DVDs visit

The World Is Bright
  • The World is Bright

    (116 min) Migration; Human Rights; Public Policy; Transnational Psychiatry; Asian Studies

    Questioning Canadian authorities about the unexpected death of their only son, parents from Beijing encounter a Kafkaesque state bureaucracy and are forced to confront traditional expectations.

  • Pricing and Discount Codes

    383 KB