To call Sasha Li spoiled is an understatement. Like many Millennials of her generation, she’s entitled and self centered. But unlike many of her peers, she doesn’t have to struggle financially. Her father, a toy tycoon in China, has given her a million dollar trust fund. But instead of investing in her future, she has blown through half of it already on designer duds and bottle services.
However, on her 24th birthday, her high roller lifestyle is finally catching up with her. At the big blow out party she’s throwing herself (and paying for), her credit card gets declined. When she calls her father to complain, she finds out that he has blocked all her accounts and is cutting her off. She’s given an ultimatum. She can either go back to China and work for the family business, or she’s cut off forever. Unable to make it on her own, Sasha finally relents and agrees to go back home and face her estranged family.
Teddy Li, the patriarch of the family, is not exactly father of the year. Divorced three times (all due to infidelity) and father of four, Teddy has always been more successful in his business than his relationships with his children. His oldest daughter Carol came home ten years ago to reacquaint herself with the father she felt abandoned by. But today, all their conversations revolve around the family business, and Carol is terrified that she’s basically turning into her father. His two youngest kids, Christian and Dior (ages 8 and 10), are constantly glued to their phones and basically indifferent to him. But with Sasha’s arrival, they all have to figure out a way to co-exist as a family for the first time.
Once Sasha starts working at the factory, she also gets a much needed dose of reality check. She encounters and befriends many workers in the factory who had to leave their children behind, in order to make a living to support them. Seeing how hard they work, it not only makes Sasha re-examine her own high flying life, but it also makes her understand that for many, family is the very thing you have to sacrifice, in order to support it. When she makes a huge mistake that threatens the workers’ livelihood, it’s on Sasha to decide what she’s willing to sacrifice, in order to do the right thing.
Go Back to China is a heartfelt and bittersweet family portrait that offers an honest look at the human cost of things that are made in China.