‘How I Became Russian’ Movie Pits Shanghainese Man Against Future Russian Father-in-Law

Years ago, when Philip Wong of Wongfu Productions cited Meet the Parents as a movie that should have starred Asians in one of the major roles, the universe must have heard his plea. That’s because a new Sino-Russian collaboration How I Became Russian (Как я стал русским), set to hit the theaters here in China on Jan 25, stands as a perfect example of a Meet the Parents-style tale, with a Sino-Russian twist.

The movie’s Chinese name Zhandou Minsu Yangchengji (战斗民族养成记), which roughly translates to “Notes on Battling Nationals”, pits a young Shanghainese man engaged to a Russian woman against his future Russian father-in-law, a nightmare of a man determined to put the newcomer through the wringer to prove his love for his fiancée.

Philip Wong would definitely approve of the casting, as he once stated “the basic premise [in Meet the Parents] of the “outsider” boyfriend meeting his fiancee’s ‘all-American’ family would be even more strengthened if said boyfriend was really ‘different’ i.e. Asian.” In this case, there’s no doubt who’s the outsider — the Shanghainese fellow met and proposed to his Russian fiancee in China, and then they travel to Russia, a foreign country, to meet the family.

And if the trailer is any measure, How I Became Russian also has lots of comedic potential with the hurdles the gun-toting Russian father throws at the Shanghai boyfriend. These include drinking duels with vodka, sweltering in saunas, shivering in the frigid cold and a showdown with an armored tank. The bottom line, like Meet the Parents, appears to be the same — it’s yet another father who doesn’t trust his daughter’s fiancee and will make him fight for the right to love her.

The movie stars Dong Chang (董畅) as the Shanghainese boyfriend, Elizaveta Kononova as the Russian girlfriend, and Vitaliy Khaev as the Russian father-in-law. Learn more about the movie in Chinese on Baidu (where you can also see trailers).

What do you think of How I Became Russian? Would you like to see this film?

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6 thoughts on “‘How I Became Russian’ Movie Pits Shanghainese Man Against Future Russian Father-in-Law

  • January 24, 2019 at 8:24 am
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    The preview looks good. I’ll have to wait for the English subtitles.

    Reply
    • January 30, 2019 at 3:29 pm
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      Thanks George! I’ll bet the movie will probably come out at some point in a subtitled version for streaming.

      Reply
  • January 24, 2019 at 5:36 pm
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    I have to watch that! And my Chinese husband should watch it, too! We also met in China and then he had to go to Poland and prove his love 😀

    Reply
    • January 30, 2019 at 3:30 pm
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      Thanks for the comment, baixiaotai! That’s so cool the story echoes your own experience with your husband!

      Reply
  • January 28, 2019 at 7:16 pm
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    The English title of the film is basically what the Chinese title translates to. The only difference is that instead of “Russian”, the Chinese title uses “tribe of warriors”, which is a nickname or epithet that Chinese people often use to refer to the Russian people to denote their prowess in war-fighting.

    Reply

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