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Family Inc.

Real-life familial and business turbulence is engrossingly charted in "Family Inc.," which finds Helen Jen's co-helmer Emily Ting documenting her stormy apprenticeship in her own father's Hong Kong toy company. Engaging pic is perfect pubcast fare, with its mix of reality drama, conflicting East/West values and consumerist pop-culture motifs.

With:
With: Charles Ting, Emily Ting, Sunny Sun, Randy Kane, David Ting, Bella Ting, Joshua Cohen, Paola Cohen.

Real-life familial and business turbulence is engrossingly charted in “Family Inc.,” which finds Helen Jen’s co-helmer Emily Ting documenting her stormy apprenticeship in her own father’s Hong Kong toy company. Engaging pic is perfect pubcast fare, with its mix of reality drama, conflicting East/West values and consumerist pop-culture motifs.

Charles Ting is the tycoon behind TL Toys, which manufactures imaginative animated plush toys for major global buyers. He’s also a short-tempered, thrice-married workaholic who’s already alienated his son David, driven his first wife to Buddhist nunhood and been financially reamed by a second wife’s divorce settlement. Called to join and potentially inherit TLT, budding New York filmmaker Emily Ting is hesitant but feels loyalty-bound. She isn’t prepared for dad’s irrational tantrums — or the huge obstacles brought by fiscal crisesthat threaten to bankrupt the hitherto profitable TL Toys. Pic ends on a note that resolves nothing (which editorial update might cure). But it still absorbs, with major assist from Michael Paul’s impish musical score.

Family Inc.

Production: An Unbound Feet production. Produced by Emily Ting. Directed by Emily Ting, Helen Jen.

Crew: Camera (color, DigiBeta), Jen; editor, Ting; music, Michael Paul. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, March 7, 2008. (In Cinequest Film Festival -- competing.) English, Cantonese dialogue. Running time: 76 MIN.

With: With: Charles Ting, Emily Ting, Sunny Sun, Randy Kane, David Ting, Bella Ting, Joshua Cohen, Paola Cohen.

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