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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



A review of China’s RED OBSESSION (2013) - Red or Gold Bordeaux ?



Written and directed by David Roach and Warwick Ross, RED OBSESSION (2013) is the timely and delectable documentary about the Chinese obsession with the color red. For China, red symbolizes many things- the earthly element of fire, great happiness, good fortune and it is the bold color of communism. Most recently, a blood-red hue has become China’s latest passion via its obsession with fine Bordeaux wine.

In Europe, fine wine (especially Bordeaux) has existed for thousands of years as a form of aqua vitae cure-all, or elixir if you will, for good health and living. Fine red wines, as opposed to low-end table wines, have represented power, influence and wealth for centuries. Even during World War II, part of Germany’s strategy to take economical power over France was to take over their most prized winegrowing regions, home to some of the world’s oldest and highest valued wines. 

As China comes to the forefront as the world’s fastest growing economy and superpower with a continuously rising wealthy population, it hungers for all things of highest value and top-end esteem (haute-couture brand shopping, shark fin, ivory, diamonds, oil, fine wines, etc.), and their consumption of these materials is fast outnumbering the world supply with unforeseen fluctuations in the world marketplace.

Narrated by Russell Crowe, RED OBSESSION takes us on a journey from the vacillation of the Bordeaux supply and demand over recent years and the near ruination of the hundreds of years of France’s Bordeaux culture in its impossible attempt to satisfy the Chinese demand for the product. As a result, China began to grow its own wine, and in 2011 the He Lan Qing Xue brand won above all Bordeaux wines for the prestigious Decanter trophy.

Strikingly shot the film travels the antipodes of the wine world and explores China’s ever-expanding massive market, posing the question whether this growing superpower will put the ancient European vintners out of business by out-buying them, or if the old-timers will have to sharpen their ancient skills to compete with China’s new talent and RED OBSESSION.


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Written by Vanessa McMahon. Sep 16, 2013