This beautifully-layered, insightful and very funny documentary
feature is the latest in Nick Torrens’ long-term Hong Kong-China series.
It features millionaire New York banker Mart Bakal and his charismatic
and well-connected Hong Kong business partner Vincent Lee. The Men Who Would Conquer China
traces their efforts as they join forces to take advantage of the
investment opportunities provided by China’s transition from a
socialist to market economy.
This bestselling Australian documentary has, since its world premiere
in June 2004 at the Sydney Film Festival, been bought by France,
Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Finland and Ireland with offers pending
from UK, French Canada, French Belgium, Denmark, Korea and more.
Northern American sales are likely to follow when the film is launched
The film moves between New York, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and other
Chinese cities over almost four years as the pair seek ideal targets
for their plan.
Bakal and Lee make an “odd couple’’. They have known each other for 10
years and relate in many ways like an old married couple- having spats,
sulking then making up. Their relationship is the fulcrum on which the
Bakal has already restructured and sold more than 900 companies for the
US Government in massive privatisation schemes in Eastern Europe. His
dream now is to repeat his success in the fastest growing and largest
market in the world- China, where the horizons, he sees as unlimited.
But China is a formidable fortress for would-be western suitors. Mart
needs a “cultural interpreter’’ and his key to unlocking China is
Vincent Lee, a brilliant entrepreneur, running his family’s Hong Kong
securities dynasty under age-old Chinese business strategies – and in
his father’s long shadow.
The film observes the values and approaches of the two and how their
eastern and western origins affect their business methods and
motivations, as they are locked together by perceived mutual advantage
in a struggle crucial to the future of each.
Director/writer/camera/sound: Nick Torrens.
Director/editor Jane St Vincent Welch.
Made in association with the ABC and Film Finance Corporation Australia
“It is a truly outstanding and unique China documentary. I loved the
irony and the absence of didactic or heavy-handed judgments from the
film-maker.” Dr Stephen FitzGerald, former Australian Ambassador to China
“Beautifully layered, witty, The Men Who Would Conquer China may represent the climax of the observational film... “
David Tiley, SCREEN HUB
"Highly Recommended! Wildly informative and entertaining, the film
gives wonderful insights into the collective minds of the two cultures
involved." Dylan M. McGinty, Media Reviews Online USA