Lost Years: A People's Struggle for Justice

Composed By: Darren Fung

Distributed by: MovieScore Media

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Lost Years: A People's Struggle for Justice is a documentary about Chinese immigrants in North America and Oceana.  The documentary follows Chinese Canadian Kenda Gee as he travels to China with his father, retracing the steps of his great-grandfather who sailed to Canada from China in 1921.  The documentary reveals the racism encountered by the Chinese immigrants venturing out of China in search of a new life full of hope, only to find themselves deprived of their rights.

                The music of Lost Years: A People's Struggle for Justice was composed by Canadian composer Darren Fung, who began his musical career as a piano player before turning to musical composition.  By the age of fifteen, he had already composed for orchestra as a part of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestraís Young Composerís project.  After graduating McGill University with a Bachelor's Degree in Music, Fung went on to attend a number of scoring workshops and music schools.  By 2002, he was scoring for a number of movie shorts and documentaries until 2012 when he composed the musical score for Awaken, his first full-length feature film.

            For this documentary, Darren Fung created a musical score celebrating the Chinese culture while still introducing elements of a Western score.  Fung's family moved from China to Canada in the 1970s and he was fascinated with Chinese-Canadian culture, so he was more than happy to be working on this project.  As the Chinese brought elements of their culture to Canada, so Fung brings elements of Chinese music to Western music, using the erhu, a Chinese violin, and pipa, a Chinese lute, in addition to your every day orchestral instruments.

            The resulting score, recorded by the China National Symphony Orchestra, is a blend of Chinese and Western culture .  The music is quite beautiful, if not a tad somber sounding, perhaps reflecting the sadness of the plight of the Chinese traveling to North America and Oceana looking for change and finding persecution.  I find it difficult to describe just how beautiful the Lost Years musical score is except to explain the soothing affect that inspired me to listen to the album four times. 

            Until listening to the musical score of Lost Years: A People's Struggle for Justice, I had never heard of Darren Fung, but after hearing this score, I can't wait to check out more of this composer's work. 


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