A new short film Laisuotuo was released by filmmaker Carl Houston Macmillan.

He says, “This is a film about two immigrants, a Chinese shop owner in Lesotho and an African doctor in China. This 20 min film is about how stereotyping and racial profiling reduces our empathy. Cultural understanding is ever so important in our global village.

short film Laisuotuo China-Africa story

As a regular listener to the China-Africa Project’s podcast, I always follow up on the guests interviewed on the show. Eric Olander (American) and Cobus van Staden (South African) host the best podcast about China-Africa issues. Even though they usually discuss politics and economic issues, in this show they highlighted a beautiful short film Laisuotuo 莱索托.

There are two stories joined together with empathy. The first story takes place in Beijing, China. An African doctor, fluent in Mandarin Chinese, goes to visit a new patient. She’s blind, and her husband asks the doctor not to tell her that he is black. After the doctor leaves, the blind wife admonishes her husband for treating people of colour differently.

A vivid dream sequence, in the short film Laisuotuo, on the Great Wall of China, serves as the transition between the two stories.

The second story takes place back in the mountains of Lesotho. A young student is expelled from school because his father cannot pay the school fees. The principal sends him home, and his father apologises half-heartedly. The father sends him to buy flour and warns him not to buy from the Chinese shop.

Without spoilers, I want to encourage you to watch this short film below. It’s a good lesson for South Africans given the high levels of xenophobia exhibited in their country over the last 10 years. More Chinese migrants will come to Africa and more Africans will study and work in China. This film shines a light on some of the immediate challenges facing us in a multicultural world.

Watch the whole short film Laisuotuo below and please leave a comment…