Appropriate, then, that in collaboration with Broadway, the students put on a performance of ‘Fame’. First though, they must audition against each other for those all-important leads. For a documentary with so much singing and dancing, the intensity of the rivalry and pressure the students put themselves under is excruciating.
Given the extremely competitive nature of the industry, it’s inevitable that only some of China’s rising stars will make it. With children from very different family backgrounds living in disparate circumstances, this ‘Storyville’ provides a fascinating, revealing portrait of modern Chinese society.