The Search for General Tso


Comedy / Documentary / History / Mystery

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 90% · 21 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 75% · 1K ratings
IMDb Rating 6.9/10 10 1845 1.8K


Top cast

720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
667.76 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 12 min
Seeds 6
1.34 GB
English 5.1
23.976 fps
1 hr 12 min
Seeds 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by tylernguyen-26873 7 / 10

A film searching of the origin of General tso chicken

The film "The search of General Tso" is a documentary about the origins of General Tso Chicken. The reason for finding the origin General Tso Chicken is because most people in China do not know about the dish. The main target audience of the film would just be people who know someone that owns a Chinese restaurant or people who ate Chinese food before. It is also rarely on the menus of restaurants in China. To find how it started we have to go all the way back to the Californian gold rush when the Chinese first came to America in 1849. The film did a good job by gathering Chinese Historians from different universities around the U.S. They were able to add background information of when the Chinese came over and the discrimination they faced. It was helpful to give background so it can lead up to why the Chinese needed to adapt to the eventual creation of General Tso Chicken. They also visited General Tso's home to confirm that he has no relation to the dish. One of the most important things to note in a film is if you enjoyed it. If your engaged it must mean you enjoyed it to a certain extent. One of the good qualities of the documentary was their use of quick- cuts. The use of quick cuts increases the pace at which the film is going. If the pace is going faster, it is easier to stay engaged. If the pace is too slow it is very easy for the viewer to get bored and lost attention to the film. Fast-cuts can ease the boredom by having the scenes of silences. I make note of the fast-cuts and why I enjoyed it because there are some documentaries where the speaker speaks in a slow pace and the scenes have very slow transitions. The pace of the fast-cuts was not that fast but at a decent pace so it does not feel like they are just shoving information in your face. They were able to manipulate this skill very well to where it made me forget the time. It also keeps your attention by how they set up the question of the film and the viewer does not find out the answer until the very end. The film could have ended in 20 minutes but they made it longer but including more history of the other dishes before the creation of General Tso Chicken. It was important that they added other food because it influenced other chef to experiment. As it shows in the beginning of Chinese Cuisine adapting to American taste it slowly became more clear on why they made the dish and where it came from. The more information they revealed the more you would be drawn into it. The film was able to have a good end by tying everything together like a bow. You figured out why the Chinese came and why they had to adapt Chinese food to American taste. It kept you drawn in by not telling the viewer where it came from but instead it went through the history of other Chinese dishes that lead up to it. It had a great ethos by having Chinese restaurant owners, Chinese historians, and a relative of General Tso. Overall The film was a great watch and very informative of Chinese cuisine in America.

Reviewed by vsks 7 / 10

Luscious Foodie Documentary Spiced with Humor

The Search for General Tso is an engaging chronicle of cultural assimilation told "with the verve of a good detective story" by writer-director Ian Cheney and producers Amanda Murray and Jennifer 8. Lee and based on a ubiquitous restaurant menu item adapted to Americans' palate. (A recipe is included on the film's website.) Shown during the recent Sedona International Film Festival, at other film festivals around the country, and available for viewing through the link above, this popular, humor-laced documentary also traces the history of the real General Tso, a fearsome warrior from the late 19th Century.

The dish was inspired by President Nixon's historic visit to China in 1972 and was introduced at the venerable Shun Lee Palace, near Lincoln Center in New York City. But the dish's history predates its American introduction. Its originator was a Hunan chef named Peng Chang-kuei, who fled Communist China and settled in Taipei, Taiwan. He created General Tso's chicken in 1955 for Chiang Kai-shek.

Now 90 years old, Chef Peng frowns when shown a picture of the dish, noting he would never use scallions or decorate the plate with broccoli! To achieve a sweet-and-sour taste, the American version adds sugar—another touch unheard of in traditional Chinese cooking.

Reviewed by anji2 10 / 10

Revealing General Tso with plenty of trivia, too!

As someone who loves authentic mainland Chinese cuisine and is consistently perplexed by the Chinese dishes here in USA I was delighted to see this film on the big screen at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) and was not in the least disappointed. The film delves into the history of how and why Americanized Chinese dishes and restaurants spread from San Francisco to the East Coast and also briefly delves into China's banquet culture and the history of the General himself. The only thing missing from this film for me was some kind of explanation of the extreme use of MSG in dishes such as General Tso's Chicken but hopefully the directors will take that subject and make a sequel! The style, pace and commentary were all great.

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