Canadian actress Anastasia Lin has quite the story to tell. She grew up between two worlds. In the first, she practiced Chinese calligraphy at the Yuelu Academy. In the second she was educated in Vancouver and Toronto.
After escaping from China’s oppressive power over its citizens’ speech in her youth to Canada with her college professor mother who desired that Anastasia have a Western education, championing human rights became her passion. It was a passion that took her through the 2015 Miss World Canada pageant until that same passion suddenly halted her beauty competition career. Through her struggle, she eventually represented Canada in the 2016 Miss World pageant held in Washington D.C.
The core problem in Anastasia’s journey begins when she is refused a visa for entry to China. She doesn’t understand at first. Her father’s hometown newspaper considered her a pride to her father, who happened to be the CEO of a large company, until word got out that she was too “outspoken” for China’s authoritarian sensibilities. The fact that she starred in a production that portrayed the marginalized Falun Gong religious group in a favorable light was also a consideration.
When her saga forces her to stand up internationally to be able to compete for the Miss World title, Lin does not back down until she is told she is considered a Persona Non-Grata in China after she touches down in Hong Kong.
Bad Ass Beauty Queen is full of moments that capture the joy, fear, frustration and acceptance that is playing on a world’s stage while delivering an important message. Theresa Kowell-Ship directs this Lofty Sky Entertainment offering well.
This documentary will experience its world premiere at Dallas VideoFest’s DocuFest. As the organization continues in its 30th year, it will be interesting to see what else unfolds in its celebration of film and video.