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Sun Moon

MOVIE | Pure Flix’s enjoyable drama shows the beauty of Taiwan, but its message falls short

Pure Flix

<em>Sun Moon</em>
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➤ Rated PG
➤ Pure Flix

When her fiancé abandons her at the altar, heartbroken Kelsey (MacKenzie Mauzy) feels purposeless. She takes an opportunity to teach English in Taiwan, and she finds herself a stranger in a strange but beautiful land. Leaving behind her younger sister (Madison McLaughlin) and her ailing mother, Kelsey wonders whether she’s abandoned them or if she can continue to be part of their lives from thousands of miles away.

Kelsey dives into teaching at a small high school but finds that while some of her students instantly adore the glamorous American, others hold back. As may seem inevitable, a handsome fellow teacher steps in to help with teaching techniques and local knowledge.

Sun Moon is a faith-based film, and first-time screenwriter and director Sydney Tooley puts a lot of herself into this movie. It’s inspired by her own experiences after college. Her love for Taiwan and its people shines throughout the 90-minute film.

This movie claims to be a story about God helping people discover His plan for their lives, but it doesn’t come through as clearly as the director intended. Kelsey is a sympathetic character and does wonderful work, but we do not get a clear picture of the Lord leading her on this journey. The film also doesn’t explain why the Lord would lead someone to leave her family in tough circumstances. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but when a studio promotes a movie with the ­promise of “family, faith and transformation,” it does leave one seeking a little more.

The characters also lack some dimension, and Sun Moon doesn’t quite pull off the illusion of reality, leaving viewers with an enjoyable experience, but nothing as transformational as promised.

Movies about China

  • The Good Earth / 1937
  • The Last Emperor / 1987
  • Iron & Silk / 1990
  • Raise the Red Lantern / 1991
  • Mulan / 1998
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon / 2000
  • Hero / 2002
  • Mao’s Last Dancer / 2009
  • The Great Wall / 2016

Marty VanDriel Marty is a TV and film critic for WORLD. He is a graduate of World Journalism Institute and CEO of a custom truck and trailer building company. He and his wife, Faith, reside in Lynden, Wash., near children and grandchildren.


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