Title: The China Hustle

Year: 2017

Genre: Documentary |

Runtime: 82 min

Director: Jed Rothstein

Starring: Soren Aandahl, Carson Block, Dan David


An unsettling and eye-opening Wall Street horror story about Chinese companies, the American stock market, and the opportunistic greed behind the biggest heist you’ve never heard of.


Netflix documentary The China Hustle, depicting the major economic crisis where China companies made frauds while profiting millions of dollars in stocks. While the Financial Crisis in 2008, often have global American banks in mind, this film shows instead how corrupt these Chinese companies are. It has a similar approach in directing like The Social Dilemma, the film on how corrupted Social Media companies are affecting our social lives, in terms of a unanimous producer and an open mind with their interviewee.

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The interviewee has good qualities and shifts between several angles. The image quality is also satisfying. At least, it’s not as confusing as The Big Short when it tried to explain the Financial Crisis with direct communication to the audience. The narrator has a calm voice and the edits feel natural in some sense. It also tries the best to be funny and has a light tone in its narrative approach with graphic and statistical information. Why the director Jed Rothstein directs and edits the film in this way is undisclosed. Soren Aandahl, Carson Block, Dan David – all poses as experts and describe with a little more knowledge and details on this scandal that affected America. And why they show how the experts get makeup and sit on a chair is unknown.

One thing that this documentary continues to do is framing the audience as you don’t know that some scenes are staged or even if it’s faked for the purpose of the narrative. Then, the narrative is obvious not shown. There is no primary character to follow beside Dan David, talking to his colleagues. As shown Jed Rothstein, hasn’t decided what direction the film is supposed to take. It’s both talking head, an informative documentary, and a film where you’re following a character. It’s first by the 55 minutes mark where it gets political and the director is using a narrator as a shortcut. This might therefore come off confusing as the tone shifts after Dan sits with his dad and his buddies drinking beer.

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The documentary overall problem is the structuring of the narrative, it is not fluid and it’s all over the place. It’s informative, provocative, and has a compelling sense to reach you, the audience however the structuring of the narrative is not good at all. And then you have the U.S blaming China for the fraud which would be good to see how China effectively reacted on these obligations, which also means this corruption is everywhere, every bank. The narrator (the director) is used too often. But if you’re OK with that, then it’s available for you on Netflix.

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