In 2011, when a rural prep school in Maine invited New York-based director Miao Wang to screen her first film, Beijing Taxi, she was surprised to find so many Chinese students enrolled at the archetypal New England establishment. Not Chinese-American students, but students from Beijing, where she was born—and from all across China. “What are all these Chinese kids doing here?” Wang said after a recent screening of Maineland, the award-winning documentary she went on to make about the first American adventures of a couple of China’s hottest new exports: high school students.

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