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Weekly Hot Titles - China

Weekly Hot Titles - China


In China, optimism is unyielding. Soon-to-be billionaire Zhang Yue has developed a stunning prefab building model that slashes construction time, and he predicts his company will soon be "the biggest in the world." Beijing restaurateur Zhang Lan is similarly ambitious. She has built her Szechuan eatery chain, South Beauty, into a culinary empire employing 10,000 people, and she estimates that by 2020 she'll have 500 restaurants around the globe. And what of 34-year-old Yan Zhihui, co-owner of Jincheng electronics? With a net worth of a few million yuan, he considers himself to have entered "the lower end of China's middle class." This program puts a spotlight on the country's new paradigms of wealth and status, going inside the world of Chinese tycoons to examine the scope of their business plans and their dazzling luxury lifestyles. Yet the economic climate is changing and the good times may not last forever for China's high rollers. Can their momentum continue?

Note: Only available in the US and Canada.

DVD / 2012 / 28 minutes

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By Yuanchen Liu

The bright lights of China's booming economy are powered by the hard labor of the miners, who work deep in perilous coal shafts around the country. When a miner dies, his family receives a death pension greater than the amount of money he would have made in his lifetime had he stayed alive. In rural China, where farming alone cannot sustain families, miners have no alternative but to risk their lives daily, descending hundreds of meters underground to dig out the black ore fueling China's massive electrical grid.

To the Light delves into the hopes and struggles of the mining families of Sichuan, in western China. The father of two, Luo originally became a coal miner to pay the fine for violating China's One Child Policy. Hui, son of another miner, prefers to be a coal-train driver than to work far from home. For many families, coal mining has become the principal source of income and the only alternative to factory jobs in distant cities. The mines are notoriously dangerous and thousands are killed every year. Going deep underground, the film exposes the perils faced by these miners, the slim rewards, and dire consequences when things go wrong. In spite of the risks, the working poor continue to flock to the mines, unable to heed the warning that earning a living wage may also mean dying for it.

  • Margaret Mead Film Festival, Filmmaker Award, 2011

    DVD / 2012 / 69 minutes

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    By Ronja Yu

    Kalmar is a small town in the south of Sweden, facing problems of unemployment and a dwindling population. It really needed an economic boost. The local authorities signed an agreement with ambitious Chinese businessman Luo Jingxing, who planned to set up a commercial center in Kalmar. Here is an ideal globalization project, that unfortunately did not work out as envisioned. This amusing and relevant film shows the problems that emerge when the tigers of the developing world try to expand into Europe

    The inhabitants of Kalmar prepare happily to receive their new neighbors . But the Chinese construction workers are told by their boss " you don't spit on the ground in Sweden." There's the strict Swedish Health and Safety Inspectorate, which clashes with the Chinese desire to get things done fast. Swedish safety officers will not allow the Chinese to work without the proper work shoes. The workers laugh with bemusement. The Chinese wanted to start building before getting their permits. The project pitted Chinese raw capitalism against Swedish bureaucracy. In the end, the center failed, money disappeared, and both sides lost out. The harsh reality of the cultural clash defeated this vision of globalization.

    DVD / 2011 / 52 minutes

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    By Danish Radio

    Soon more than 550 cities world wide will have a population of more than one million. In 2030 eighty percent of the world's population will live in cities. Megacities have traditionally been economic and political power centers but today the fastest growing cities are in developing nations.

    The new challenge is that cities are growing helter skelter rather than planned. There is an acute need for new models of city planning to prevent collapses under such huge social, economic and environmental pressure. If cities are to remain livable, the problems of population increase must be understood and dealt with. Cities on Speed shows how four different megacities are dealing with this challenge. What are the visions and the solutions and how do they affect the inhabitants?


    Shanghai is not just a city - it's an explosion of 4,000 skyscrapers, thousands of miles of highway, millions of citizens and thousands of government planners. Vast communities need to be expropriated to make way for new skyscrapers, roads and industries. The government tries to control it, the citizens try to use it but Shanghai is beyond control.

    DVD / 2011 / 60 minutes

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    By Gary Marcuse and Betsy Carson

    Waking the Green Tiger tells the dramatic story of the rise of the first major grassroots environmental movement in China, a significant development that could reshape the country. Seen through the eyes of farmers, journalists, activists and a former government insider, the film traces the historical evolution of the movement and highlights an extraordinary campaign to stop a huge dam project slated for the Upper Yangtze River in southern China.

    Featuring archival footage never seen outside China, and interviews with insiders and witnesses, the documentary also portrays the earlier history of Chairman Mao's campaigns to conquer nature in the name of progress. Mao mobilized millions of people in campaigns that reshaped China's landscape, destroyed lakes, forests and grasslands, and unleashed dust storms. Despite the evident consequences, critics of this approach were silenced for decades.

    The green movement emerged when a new environmental impact law was passed in 2004. For the first time in China's history, ordinary citizens gained the right to speak out and take part in government decisions. Green activism grew into a larger movement as local villagers and urban activists joined forces to oppose a massive new dam at Tiger Leaping Gorge on the Upper Yangtze that would have displaced 100,000 people. Their extraordinary campaign is a primary focus of the film.

  • "Gary Marcuse's stirring documentary celebrates the brave souls at the forefront of China's new revolution." - Vancouver International Film Festival

  • "Stirring... this engaging documentary shakes up a lot of assumptions we may have about China and opens our eyes to a revolution that brings on public debate." - Toronto Star

  • "Waking the Green Tiger is wonderful, an amazing story that opens an unexpected window onto China." - Ronald Wright, author, A Short History of Progress

  • Best Canadian Documentary, Planet in Focus Film Festival, Toronto
  • Winner, Top 10 Canadian Films, Vancouver International Film Festival

    DVD (English and Mandarin, Closed Captioned, With English Subtitles) / 2011 / (Grades 9 - Adult) / 78 minutes

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    China's economic prowess is seldom questioned, but how has the largest communist society in the world also become the most dynamic capitalist economy? In this video lecture from the 2010 Falling Walls Conference, sociologist Doug Guthrie disentangles the generally accepted assumption that markets are more efficient than state planning and provides a unique view on economic innovation. With ample academic research and experiences in East Asia, Guthrie's doctoral study on Chinese corporate response to institutional changes was awarded the field's top dissertation award and has formed the basis of several books of economic reform in China. After teaching at top international institutions like Harvard Business School, INSEAD, Stanford University, Columbia University, and Emory University, Guthrie was appointed the dean of George Washington University's School of Business, where he is committed to guiding the business community through the challenges presented by the new communist-capitalist economic landscape.

    DVD / 2010 / 15 minutes

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    China Quake is an engrossing look at the massive 2008 earthquake in China, one of the most destructive quakes ever recorded, and a lesson in the science of seismic activity.

    The 7.9 magnitude earthquake released a surge of energy that devastated an area the size of South Korea. In ninety unforgiving seconds, nearly 90,000 lives were lost, 5 million buildings were destroyed and 5 million people were left homeless. Dramatic video footage from the day of the quake and its aftermath, along with computer graphics, vividly illustrate the devastation and the mechanisms behind the megaquake.

    China Quake follows a team of international scientists a year after the monster quake as they search for clues that will help solve the mystery of the massive, unexpected disaster. Was the Sichuan earthquake a freak of nature or a predictable tragedy waiting to happen? And what can be learned from the quake to help reduce the devastation in the future?

    The scientists, including geologists, seismologists and engineers, use tools on the ground and in space to uncover the catastrophic chain of events that may have ruptured several faults at once. Among the scientists is Dr. Elizabeth Hausler, founder/CEO of Build Change, a nonprofit organization that teaches people in developing countries how to build earthquake resistant homes.

    The discoveries of these scientists solves the mystery of the quake's origins and scale, and will help save lives in the future wherever and whenever killer quakes strike around the world.

  • Golden China Dragon Award, International Science and Education Producers Conference, China

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2010 / (Grades 9-Adult) / 47 minutes

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    By Liz Daggett

    In Imaginary Enemy, the Chinese sculptor and painter Liao Yibai recounts his remarkable life as he prepares for his first solo show in America. The artist was born in a top-secret missile factory in the Chinese countryside during the Cold War. His mother went into labor while standing at her place in the factory line, welding missiles. Unmarked on any map, Factory 215 was part of Mao Zedong's master plan "...to fight China's biggest enemy, America." Under complete government control and unable to leave, young Yibai's daily life was subjected to Cultural Revolution propaganda on loudspeakers by day, and being awakened by accidental explosions at night.

    Yibai's childhood is depicted in his imaginative and ironic stainless-steel sculptures, turning the complex cultural relationship between China and the U.S. into accessible, humorous stories. A giant metal hamburger emblazoned with "Top Secret" represents how Yibai got his first impression of the West, "the food of the enemy." We see the works progressing, while Yibai raises deeper questions. Are we pawns in political games? What is the nature of war, and can it be stopped? Is art a way to tell forgotten stories, ugly memories, and childhood dreams?

    DVD / 2010 / 23 minutes

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    There's currently an estimated one thousand giant pandas left in China, and unless crucial steps are taken, the iconic bears could soon be wiped out forever. At China's Wolong Nature Reserve in the mountains in Sichuan Province, forty giant pandas and a dedicated team of staff play a crucial role in ensuring the survival of the species.

    As part of the Reserve's panda breeding program, a revolutionary new method of rearing twin cubs called 'swap-raising' has been developed. Each cub is raised by both its natural mother and one of the Reserve's veterinarians, Wei Rongping, to increase the chances of both cubs surviving.

    Panda Nursery witnesses this special partnership between Rongping and an eleven-year-old female panda called Ershihao, who, three months after being artificially inseminated, gives birth to two tiny furless cubs. The program follows the first six months of the lives of the twin cubs as they are swapped between Ershihao and their surrogate 'mum', Rongping.

    Panda Nursery follows the highs and lows of Lin He's and Lin Hai's eventful first six months and explores the challenges facing giant pandas in the wild. In three years it could be these two cuddly cubs' turn to produce young of their own as Wolong Nature Reserve's breeding program attempts to haul the giant bears back from the brink of extinction.

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2010 / (Grades 6-Adult) / 50 minutes

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    Relentless poaching early last century saw the oldest horse species in the world die out in their original habitat. But thanks to a breeding program in China, 27 Przewalski's horses have returned to their homeland where their ancestors roamed - the vast 18,000 square kilometer Kala Maili prairie in West China.

    Accustomed to an easy life within the enclosures, back in the wild and hostile northern region, the herd faces extreme winter snows and summer droughts. Wild Horses ¡V Return to China is the story of the herd's struggle for survival during their first year back in the wild.

    Ten-year-old stallion Wind Chaser leads the herd of 9 mares, 11 colts and 6 foals on their first journey into this new and unfamiliar world. With him is the mare Black Pearl, who is carrying his foal. Her fate, and that of the foal, depends on if Wind Chaser can keep leadership of the herd through the first brutal months of independence as younger stallions begin to challenge the older horse.

    The herd is released, but they are reluctant to travel far from their enclosure and always return at the end of the day. When winter arrives the temperature drops to minus 38 degrees and snow covers the sparse pasture ¡V survival is their ultimate test.

    Set in the stunningly beautiful and stark landscape of west China, the film reveals the secret life of these wild horses, how they adjust to the harsh wilderness and reclaim the long lost territories of their ancestors. The main members of the herd became in integral characters in the story as the life and death struggles of Wind Chaser, Flame and, most poignantly, Black Pearl are both heartbreaking and uplifting in this extraordinary drama of nature.

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2010 / (Grades 6-Adult) / 50 minutes

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    Hidden China takes an in-depth look into this country's meteoric rise to economic superpower in this behind the scenes show. Through access to exclusive interviews and on-camera visits to areas forbidden to journalists, discover how China has rapidly changed from a state run disaster to the world's powerful economy.

    China is attempting to do in one generation, what other countries have needed three to accomplish. From one of the world's largest gaming industries, to global corporations, China is now most certainly on the world's stage.

    In the 1970's, thanks to Supreme Leader Deng Xiaoping's pragmatism, China moved from a classic Soviet style command economy to a consumer economy virtually from scratch. This meant China needed to commercially reconnect with the rest of the world breaking away from centuries of tradition.

    Learn how the inner battle between tradition and modernization continues to rage on as the world's most powerful economy continues to grow. With economic growth at over Ten percent a year, tradition is giving way.

    DVD / 2009 / (Senior High - College) / 45 minues

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    Although Sino-Japanese diplomatic relationship was only re-established in 1972 after Japanese Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei's China visit, non-government contacts were frequent prior to normalization. Premier Zhou Enlai admonished the Japanese that 'past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide for the future'. But Japan has never admitted to its invasion of China and the atrocities it had committed there. 1970-80 were Sino-Japanese relationship's honeymoon years. Japan's Official Development Assistance helped China build up its infrastructure. Reviews the ebb and flow in diplomatic relationships in ensuing years. Observes that Sino-Japanese relationship will remain like this in the future.

    DVD / 2009 / 30 minutes

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    In the 1990s, global politics underwent a major reshuffle. As the Soviet Union dissolved and its 15 republics declared independence, China saw the addition of five emerging Central Asian countries along its borders. A new balance has to be found in international politics, and China is forming new relationships with its five new neighbours though new diplomatic thinking and strategies. Kazakhstan declared independence from the Soviet Union in December 1991 and China was among the first countries to recognise its independence. Kazakhstan is the world's largest landlocked country.

    With rich natural resources, it borders Xinjiang and has become China's new partner in energy diplomacy. Kazakhstan is the most powerful country among the five countries of Central Asia. Located at the heart of Eurasia, Central Asia has become a major battlefield for the global competition for resources. In May 2004, China and Kazakhstan inked an agreement to build the China-Kazakhstan oil pipeline. This is China's first land pipeline for crude oil import; it reduces the country's reliance on its marine pipeline and hence the risks of importing oil from the Middle East and Africa.

    Besides cooperating on energy projects, China and Kazakhstan are also partners in anti-terror efforts. In June 2001, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Russia founded the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, an anti-terror initiative to fight the forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism. 60 years after its founding, New China is directing its diplomatic efforts towards a brand new way of thinking.

    DVD / 2009 / 30 minutes

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    Sino-Soviet relations have been a roller coaster ride since New China's founding: from alliance in the 1950s, split in the 1960s, hostility in the 1970s, reconciliation in the 1980s to the Soviet Union's dissolution and China's emergence as a new global power in the 1990s. How have changes in Sino-Soviet relations influenced the development of the international community?

    DVD / 2009 / 30 minutes

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    The episode presents an overview of major developments in China ' s foreign policies.

    The episode examines major developments in China's foreign relations in the 60 years since its founding: one-sided support for the Soviet Union; participating in the Geneva Conference and the international community; proposing the Five Principles for Peaceful Co-existence at the Bandung Conference; export of revolution to countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America; keeping a low profile after the June Fourth Incident; and developing partnership diplomacy with great powers and neighbours.

    DVD / 2009 / 30 minutes

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    While China and Vietnam borders each other, their fates are intricately connected. Yet over the past 60 years, the two socialist powers have gone through good and bad times in their relations. This episode tells the ups and downs of Sino-Vietnamese relations, from a bond stronger than brotherhood, to a dramatic fallout and then hearty reconciliation.

    DVD / 2009 / 30 minutes

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    China and Indonesia are only a sea apart, and Indonesia has the largest overseas Chinese population in the world, bringing the two countries even closer.

    Indonesia built diplomatic relations with the PRC in 1950, and was among the first countries to recognise China's new political regime. In the mid 1950s, with Indonesia ' s help, China was able to attend the Bandung Conference and opened the door to foreign relations with Asian and African countries. Yet in the 1960s, as a new president took office in Indonesia, the country launched a series of anti-communism and anti-Chinese campaigns, which eventually resulted in the breaking up of diplomatic relations.

    Sino-Indonesian relations were built in 1950s, severed in 1967 and re-established in the 1990s. In 60 years, the two countries have gone through a great deal to peaceful coexistence today.

    DVD / 2009 / 30 minutes

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    The Korean Peninsula, located in Northeast Asia, is China's gateway in the northeast, one of immense strategic importance.

    In June 1950, the Korean War broke out. New China, despite the urgent need for domestic reconstruction, entered the war with great determination, for its own national security and also to support communist North Korea. China paid a huge price for the war but had North Korea's friendship in exchange. It was a friendship cemented by blood.

    In the late 1970s, China implemented its reform and opening-up policy and began to drift away from North Korea ideologically. Then the building of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea in 1992 further damaged Sino-North Korean relations.

    Today, as the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula intensifies, all eyes are on the peninsula, as well as China - whether its influence on North Korea will prevail.

    DVD / 2009 / 30 minutes

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    Neighbouring countries China and India are both ancient Asian civilisations with vast territory and a large population. In 1962 the two countries went to war as a result of border conflicts, and in recent years India granting asylum to the Dalai Lama as well as the issue of Tibetan refugees have created tension in Sino-Indian relations. Yet Sino-Indian economic and trade relations have developed in spite of political disparities. India's advantage in software, combined with China's sufficiently developed infrastructure and hardware, is set to create mutual benefits for the two countries. As emerging BRIC countries, China and India have caused significant concern in western countries. While the two countries compete for power and influence in the international community, they are strategic partners in business and commerce. China and India, enemies and friends all at once, give their best performance on the stage of the world.

    DVD / 2009 / 30 minutes

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    By Christoph Schaub & Michael Schindhelm

    Many events for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games took place in the brand new, 100,000-seat National Stadium. Design plans for this massive structure began in 2003, when Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron were selected by the Chinese government to design the new stadium, which because of its curved steel-net walls was soon dubbed by locals as the "bird's nest."

    BIRD'S NEST chronicles this five-year effort, as well as Herzog and de Meuron's design for a new city district in Jinhua, involving hotels, office and residential buildings. Both projects involved complex and often difficult negotiations and communications between two cultures, two architectural traditions and two political systems. Herzog and de Meuron, the Basle-based architects, find themselves working with China's largest state construction company, Chinese artist and architect Ai Wei Wei, lawyers, and countless government bureaucrats.

    The film reveals how Chinese cultural tradition affects both projects, with the architects carefully researching esthetic and philosophical concepts of Chinese society and culture, attempting to define universal qualities of "beauty" and being careful to avoid imposing Western ideas, and above all to create buildings that will blend in culturally by being sensitive to Chinese cultural traditions and ways of living.

    In addition to following the progress of both projects, from initial design and groundbreaking, BIRD'S NEST features interviews with Herzog and de Meuron, Chinese architects Ai Wei Wei and Yu Qiu Rong, plus additional commentary by cultural advisor Dr. Uli Sigg, the former Swiss Ambassador to China, Professor Zhi Yin of Beijing's Tsinhua University, and Li Aiqing, Chairman of Beijing State-Owned Assets Management.

    In showing the cultural barriers, political pressures, aesthetic concepts, client demands, and budgetary limitations of these major architectural projects-one intended to promote China's international appearance, the other designed to cater to the daily needs of the Chinese people-BIRD'S NEST explores how such international endeavors are helping to develop a "new tradition" in architecture.

    "For those of you who aren't yet obsessed with Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron-the Swiss architects behind London's Tate Modern, the Barcelona Forum, the de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco, Allianz Arena in Munich, and 40 Bond Street in NYC-we think the stadium they've built in Beijing for this summer's Olympic Games might push you over the edge." - Good Magazine

  • "A coup of culture exchange, not only for architects." - Zuritipp

  • "Not only exciting architectural insights, but also a view of the Chinese mood in times of rapid transition." - NZZ

    DVD (Color) / 2008 / 88 minutes

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    By Baudouin Koenig

    The economic reforms introduced in China in 1978 generated profound social changes and new psychological pressures, creating increased levels of anxiety and depression amongst the populace. Over the last ten to fifteen years, the development of psychoanalysis in China reflects the changing needs of a society that is just learning how to express personal feelings.

    OEDIPUS IN CHINA visits a number of Chinese hospitals, mental health centers and universities, interviewing students, psychologists, psychotherapists, researchers and other mental health professionals, including Huo Datong, a pioneer of Chinese psychoanalysis known as the "Freud of China," and psychoanalyst Alf Gerlach and psychologist Margaret Haass Wisegart, German doctors who are helping to adapt psychoanalysis to traditional Chinese culture.

    The film examines the historical roots of some of China's current psychological problems, including the negative impact of Mao's personality cult, the shattering of traditional social and family structures during the Cultural Revolution in the Sixties, and the contemporary psychological dynamics of single child families.

    OEDIPUS IN CHINA shows the new interest in psychotherapy in China through patient consultations, a mental health call center, hospital staff meetings, university classroom sessions, a center for autistic children, and an international mental health conference. What the film also reveals, however, is that for psychoanalysis to play a significant role in Chinese society will require democratic reforms that enable true freedom of speech.

    DVD (Color) / 2008 / 52 minutes

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    Directed by Weijun Chen

    An experiment in democracy is taking place in Wuhan, the most populous city in central China. For the first time ever, the students in grade three at Evergreen Primary School have been asked to elect a class monitor. Traditionally appointed by the teacher, the class monitor holds a powerful position, helping to control the students, keeping them on task and doling out punishment to those who disobey. The teacher has chosen three candidates: Luo Lei (a boy), the current class monitor; Cheng Cheng (a boy); and Xu Xiaofei (a girl). Each candidate is asked to choose two assistants to help with his or her campaign.

    To prove their worthiness, the candidates must perform in three events. First is a talent show, where each candidate plays an instrument or sings a song. Second is a debate, in which the candidates bring up the shortcomings of their opponents as well as their own personal qualifications. And finally, each candidate must deliver a speech, an opportunity to appeal directly to classmates and ask for their votes.

    At home, each of the children is coached by his or her parents and pushed to practice and memorize for each stage of the campaign. Although their parents are supportive, the candidates feel the pressure. Tears and the occasional angry outburst reveal the emotional impact. At school, the candidates talk to classmates one-on-one, making promises, planning tactics (including negative ones) and at times expressing doubts about their own candidacies.

    For all three children, the campaign takes its toll, especially for the losing candidates and their assistants. Viewers are left to decide if the experiment in democracy has been "successful" and what it might mean for democracy in China. Please Vote for Me challenges those committed to China's democratization to consider the feasibility of, and processes involved in, its implementation.

  • "This film should lead to much class discussion regarding ethics, campaigning and what it means to ask the question ‘What is Democracy?' Recommended." - Educational Media Reviews Online

  • Nominated, Best International Feature Documentary, Cinema Eye Awards, 2008

  • Winner, Sterling Feature Award, Silverdocs Film Festival, 2007
  • Working Films Award, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, 2008
  • Best Educational documentary, DOCNZ, 2007
  • Special Jury Prize, Taiwan International Children's Film Festival, 2008
  • Best Documentary Award, Ashland Independent Film Fest, 2008
  • Best Documentary, Jackson Hole Film Festival, 2008

    DVD / 2007 / 52 minutes

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    Will the 21st century be the Chinese century? Economics correspondent Paul Solman examines the rise of China as a global economic power - and the challenges that lie before it - in this timely collection of NewsHour reports.

    Episodes include...
  • China's Growing Economy: This segment spotlights the freewheeling Chinese economy - and its growing pains
  • The Chinese Consumer: This segment seeks to understand Chinese consumers and how both Wal -Mart and high -end boutiques are catering to them
  • The Cult of Mao Zedong: This segment illustrates how the idealism and enthusiasm of the early Mao years is influencing China's emerging free market economy
  • Misinvestment in China: This segment sheds light on the Chinese government's notably opaque investment practices and the failing Shanghai Stock Exchange
  • Interview with Cheng Siwei: In this segment, China's "father of venture capital" speaks on economic relations with the U.S., foreign investment, textile exports, and the revaluation of the yuan
  • Piracy Explored: This segment investigates piracy of foreign intellectual property rights in China, using Viagra as a case in point
  • Bumps in the Road?: This segment seriously questions whether China's economy can continue to grow at its incredible pace without major political reform

    Note: Only available in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan and Australia/New Zealand

  • "As a teaching tool, the seven episodes offer considerable background on the Chinese economy and a number of intriguing points to spark discussion. Recommended." - Educational Media Reviews Online

    DVD / 2007 / 77 minutes

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    By Lana Jokel

    Lana Jokel, the filmmaker, was born in Shanghai to a privileged family that lived an enviable life style. When the Communists came to power the family fled, ultimately to Brazil where her father became a successful industrialist. Lana eventually was educated in America, where she now lives, but her search for roots brought her back to China. This beguiling film records her first visit back to the land of her birth and the relatives she left behind.

    With her camera in hand she embarks on a personal odyssey to rediscover China. Lana reunites with her sole surviving Auntie, who at 90 lives in a rundown apartment that she does not want to leave since her neighbors watch out for her. Lana finds cousins she never met, some who led difficult lives under the Communists, but others who are now affluent. They show her the new China, a mingling of old traditions, such as tea tasting, with today's predilection for a western life style. We follow Lana as she visits old haunts, like the former French Club now transformed to the plush Garden Hotel. As she tours the country the viewer is given a quick history lesson of China's past by this insightful guide, infused with personal poignancy.

    DVD / 2006 / (College, Adult) / 56 minutes

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    By Michael Prazan

    Although the Nanjing Massacre, a series of war crimes committed by Japanese troops in China's capital during the second Sino-Japanese War, occurred seventy years ago, the nature and extent of these atrocities remains the subject of continuing historical debate and the source of political tensions between China and Japan.

    During the military occupation, Japanese troops engaged in arson, rape, looting and executions of prisoners of war and civilians, including women and children. Debate continues to rage over the extent of the atrocities and the number of deaths, with some Japanese denying any atrocities took place, but credible estimates of non-combatant deaths range from 100,000 to 300,000.

    NANJING: MEMORY AND OBLIVION uses archival footage and photos, interviews with Chinese survivors and eyewitnesses, former Japanese soldiers, and both Chinese and Japanese government officials, historians and lawyers, to document the events of "The Rape of Nanking" and to show how the interpretation of this history has become politicized.

    In addition to shocking accounts of atrocities witnessed and committed, the film profiles those foreigners residing in Nanjing, known as "the righteous," including John Rabe, Minnie Vautrin and John Magee, whose efforts saved many lives. Although featuring contentious commentary by both Japanese and Chinese advocates for both sides of the continuing controversy, NANJING also shows a Chinese and a Japanese history teacher who, unlike their government leaders, are working to construct a shared memory of the events.

  • "A remarkable documentary... retraces with precision the unfolding of events... gives a frightening example of the manipulation of history." - Telerama

  • "Chinese survivors and Japanese soldiers, with sincerity, sadness or profound disturbance, recount the horrors of the bloody events... a valuable testimony." - ProChoix

  • "This engrossing film reconstructs the facts of the atrocities committed in Nanking. By shedding light on this disputed event, one which has divided the neighboring countries and left inhabitants full of pain and resentment, filmmaker Michael Prazan hopes to absorb this lapse in collective memory and bring the people of China and Japan closer together." - Chicago International Documentary Festival Program

    DVD (Color) / 2006 / 53 minutes

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    A clandestinely shot, deep-access account of how the clothes we buy are actually made.

    Like no other film before, China Blue is a powerful and poignant journey into the harsh world of sweatshop workers. Shot clandestinely, this is a deep-access account of what both China and the international retailers don't want us to see: how the clothes we buy are actually made.

    Following a pair of denim jeans from birth to sale, China Blue links the power of the U.S. consumer market to the daily lives of a Chinese factory owner and two teenaged female factory workers. Filmed both in the factory and in the workers' faraway village, this documentary provides a rare, human glimpse at China's rapid transformation into a free market society.

  • "Heartbreaking yet boldly essential...fairly balanced and richly human." - THE SEATTLE TIMES

  • "Compelling...gives the phrase "sweatshop" a whole different perspective." - MIAMI HERALD

  • "The Tacit fury of China Blue..." - RICHARD CORLISS, TIME MAGAZINE

  • Audience Award Winner, PBS Independent Lens
  • Silver Chris Award, Columbus International Film & Video Festival
  • Amnesty Human Rights Award, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)
  • Award of Excellence, Society for Visual Anthropology, American Anthropological Association
  • CINE Golden Eagle
  • Silver Plaque, HUGO Television Awards, Chicago International Film Festival
  • Honorable Mention, Vancouver International Film Festival
  • Best Documentary, International Independent Film Festival of Mar del Plata, Argentina
  • Honorable Mention, Vermont International Film Festival
  • Special Mention, Cinemabiente Environmental Film Festival, Torino, Italy

    DVD (Color) / 2005 / (Grades 10 - 12, College, Adult) / 88 minutes

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    Directed by Shui-Bo Wang

    In January 1954, months after the end of the Korean War, U.S. soldiers held in POW camps were at last free to return home. A small group, however, refused repatriation to the U.S. and, after being given 90 days to reconsider their decision, 21 American soldiers decided to stay in China. In THEY CHOSE CHINA, Academy Award-nominated Chinese documentarian Shui-Bo Wang tells the controversial story of these forgotten American dissidents.

    Using rare archival footage, excerpts from American and Chinese TV programs, as well as period and contemporary interviews, THEY CHOSE CHINA chronicles the fascinating history of this group of young Americans who were hailed in China as "peace fighters" and denounced in America as "turncoats" and "traitors." U.S. media claimed that these young POW's had been "brainwashed" by the Chinese communists. The film shows conditions inside these Chinese camps, featuring never-before-seen footage, plus contemporary interviews with some of the camps' Chinese translators, instructors, lecturers, and officers.

    The majority of the 21 Americans became disillusioned and returned to America, where they recanted their statements and were imprisoned by the military. Others remained in China, got educations, worked in a variety of jobs, married and raised families. In interviews today, several of the surviving men¡Xincluding those who remained in China and those who returned to the U.S¡Xalong with members of their familie recount their unusual experiences, explain their thinking at the time, and the nature of their beliefs today.

  • "Recommended!" - Educational Media Reviews Online

  • "Illuminates on many levels... At the time, the 'turncoats' (a word Mike Wallace emphasizes repeatedly in archival sequences) were thought to have been brainwashed, Manchurian Candidate style. Wang unearths rare and fascinating footage that reveals a different story of individuals who, out of loathing for McCarthy's America, chose a people they viewed as peace loving and who repaid their admiration until the tide turned with the Cultural Revolution." - United Nations Association Film Festival (Stanford University)

  • " [3 stars]! Helps us to understand why men who were willing to lay down their lives for their country chose not to return home." - Eye Weekly

  • "A fascinating introduction to a little-known episode of Cold War history. Recommended." - Video Librarian

  • "Shuibo Wang is to be lauded for this exploration of what is still a contentious part of American history, and for his contribution to the historical debate by suggesting that perhaps these men, too, could be considered POW-heroes." - Film & History

  • Jury Prize, 2006 Black Maria Film Festival
  • Remi Award, 2006 WorldFest-Houston
  • Golden Gate Award, 2006 San Francisco Film Festival

    DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2005 / 52 minutes

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    By Tang Yuen Mei Joani and Fung Wing Chuen Tely

    A pair of small feet -- three-inch golden lilies -- were once the male-designated yardstick for feminine beauty in China. A young girl"s feet were broken and bound inwards along the instep, a process that caused excruciating pain. Systematically bound, day after day, the stunted feet began to take on the coveted look of that profoundly sensuous image, the lotus bulb.

    Today there are fewer than 400 women with bound feet among the 1.25 billion people of China. Most of them are over 80 years old. Some of these women tell us of the event that branded their lives with its singular mark. Once an erotic symbol of beauty and eligibility, the bound foot confronts us with a custom that subjugated women to a brutal beauty myth.

  • Association for Asian Studies, 2009

    DVD / 2004 / (College, Adult) / 52 minutes

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    By Nick Torrens and Jane St. Vincent Welc

    How does one buy companies owned by the state of China, support that country's transition to capitalism, and make a fortune at the same time?

    For 4,000 years China largely succeeded, both culturally and economically, in keeping the rest of the world at bay. Following its introduction of reforms in the 1980's, however, including a transition from a socialist to a market economy, China allowed multinational corporations to set up shop. Now that the world's most populous nation is clearly on a fast track to capitalism, American investors are eagerly exploring ways to exploit China's new 'economic miracle.'

    THE MEN WHO WOULD CONQUER CHINA follows the efforts of wealthy New York investment banker Mart Bakal and his well-connected Hong Kong business partner Vincent Lee as they join forces in an effort to create the perfect mix of economic and political opportunity in China. Bakal is enthusiastic about the extraordinary business opportunity - as he says, "Within 20 years China will equal the U.S. in economic strength and power" - but first he and Lee must figure out how to overcome a frustrating array of cultural and legal obstacles.

    As the film chronicles their efforts in New York, Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai over a three-year period, it becomes apparent that their different cultural perspectives are as much a weakness as a strength. We join them as they engage in difficult negotiations with Chinese government bureaucrats, tour Chinese factories seeking Western investment, attend business luncheons and official receptions, and become embroiled in their own disputes and arguments. In separate conversations, in fact, both Bakal and Lee privately express frank criticisms and doubts about his prospective business partner.

    The business scheme they succeed in signing with the Chinese government involves the purchase of failed state-owned companies, which Bakal and Lee plan to restructure through improved management techniques, in order to then resell them at a considerable profit to multinational corporations. As foreign investment in China rapidly approaches the $100 billion level, and social inequality and unemployment continue to rise, the film offers a revealing portrait of the vast social changes taking place. In particular, THE MEN WHO WOULD CONQUER CHINA makes us ponder the potential long-term impact of capitalism on China.

  • "Highly Recommended! Truly gives an engaging and often humorous examination of two dynamic opportunists from dramatically different social and business cultures discussing issues, reaching crisis stage, resolving differences, and ultimately merging their strategies and resources... It is wildly informative and entertaining... a tremendous piece of work, giving its audiences a witty yet astute exploration of the intersection of globalization and entrepreneurship in China." - Educational Media Reviews Online

  • Engaging...instructive...the film will be useful in communication courses as well as Asian Studies courses." - Asian Educational Media Service News and Reviews

  • "A dramatic and humorous narrative which compares the values and motivations of the North American and the Chinese locked together by perceived mutual advantage in a struggle crucial to the future of each." - Chaos Generation

  • Best Editing in a Documentary, 2004 Australian Film Institute Awards
  • Best Feature Documentary of 2004, Film Critics Circle of Australia

    DVD (Color) / 2004 / 58 minutes

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    By Frank Esman

    This is a view of China in transition through the eyes of six members of the intelligentsia. They are addressing the issue of freedom of expression and censorship. Among them are: an author who points out that if his book gets banned in China he will reap the profits from foreign sales; a film director who know how far he can go to get by the censors; a journalist dedicated to socialism who feels she must expose corruption despite receiving threats; a dramatist who speaks out about China's transformation; a composer who observes that Western music has gained acceptance; and an artist who looks forward to the day when "more voices can be heard."

    They offer widely differing opinions about China's future. Some have developed into high powered entrepreneurs; others still long for communism in its purest form. Artistic freedom is no longer looked upon as a force that threatens the system. There is a growing understanding that in a society as complex as China's, the state-sanctioned arts of the communist era are simplistic and irrelevant.

    DVD / 2002 / (College, Adult) / 28 minutes

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    In Bejing stands the only hospital in China to specialize in allowing people approaching the end of their lives to die with dignity. It was established ten years ago by Dr. Li Wei, who had been a barefoot doctor in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution. He saw much hardship during those years and vowed to help some of those people who survived.

    Compared to a Western hospital, this is a simple, basic facility. Care and respect permeates the atmosphere. Each of the elderly patients embodies the history of his or her generation. Entwined with their stories is film footage illustrating the turbulent times through which they lived. By focusing on the stories of a few people nearing the end of life, The Chinese Hospice lends a personal face to history.

  • "Highly recommended... for those interested in the sociology of aging in contemporary cultures." - Charles Greenberg, Yale University Medical Library

  • American Society on Aging, 2000

    DVD / 2000 / (College, Adult) / 46 minutes

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    Directed by Shui-Bo Wang

    A comprehensive survey of creative life in contemporary Beijing, SWING IN BEIJING captures a remarkable impression of the current state of fine and performing arts in this rapidly changing city. Academy Award nominee Shui-Bo Wang has incorporated interviews with artists, filmmakers, and musicians, along with clips of films, plays and music videos, paintings and other artwork in galleries and studios, and revealing footage of a city in transition.

    Although government censorship has been a threat to artists in China for years, many of the artists cite the lack of venues and financial support as the new censorship. Gao Xing, aged 26, is the lead singer of the punk group Underbaby. Gao and his friends say it isn't the government but music producers and MTV-China that demand less controversial lyrics. For painter Wei Dong censorship is a danger that lies within. During the Cultural Revolution his parents were persecuted, and Wei knows his memories must influence him in some way, though he tries to resist the impulse to tone down his work.

    The painful transformation of Beijing is a subject many of the artists confront. In response to the destruction of the old quarter, Wei Dong explores artistic methods that embrace modernization but preserve Chinese culture. Filmmaker Jia Khang Ke explores the loss of traditional values and culture as well. Using his small, hometown Penang as the setting, his most recent film is a meditation on the dissolution of the traditional family in China. Zhan Wang is also troubled by the demolition of the old District. In his state-owned studio he creates work that asks, "Where do we come from?" Freed from financial constraints by his work as a commercial artist, Zhan creates conceptual art by photographing the demolished old district, then photographing the same area after his 'renovations.' His work is completed as the new structures go up over the old.

    All of these artists, and many others interviewed in SWING IN BEJING, debate the value of Western recognition. While selection for a Western show like the Venice Bi-annual guarantees international fame, the selected pieces are often shown out of context, diluting their power. Western curators, says Wu Mei Chun, tend to pick pieces that shock the Western sensibility, not the best piece. A graduate of the China Institute of Fine Arts she decided to stop practicing art in order to curate. Now 31, she puts on controversial group shows in non-official settings.

    Finally, SWING IN BEIJING takes us to the Central Experimental Playhouse for a production of Dario Fo's Death of an Anarchist. Director Men Jeng Hui was a student activist during the Tiananmen uprising, and says the events of 1989 are his formative experiences. Citing Stanislavsky's student Meyerhold as his inspiration, he insists that theater always needs revolution. By raising funds from friends and private corporations (the government has cut funding to the theater), Men Jeng was able to put on a production that is openly challenging to authority. It exemplifies the current state of censorship in Beijing: the government won't stop you from making something, but it won't provide the crucial venue and funding that is necessary to reach the public.

    Shui-Bo Wang, whose critically acclaimed film SUNRISE OVER TIANANMEN SQUARE was nominated for an Academy Award, has returned to the cradle of his artistic development, creating an informative and surprising film about the challenges and rewards of the life of an artist in present-day Beijing.

  • "SWING IN BEIJING consists of a series of well-integrated short sketches of avant-garde artists in Beijing. Form[s] a powerful impression of a varied, radical, and seemingly vibrant arts underground. The film is valuable in that it takes viewers to places that even well-connected Chinese and foreigners would be unlikely to visit. Students from senior high school through graduate school should find it a surprising, provocative, and stimulating look at this potentially influential subculture." - Professor Patrick Dowdey, Wesleyan University, Curator of the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, for Asian Educational Media Service 'News and Reviews'

  • "A wonderful present day look at the limits of artistic freedom in China. ... an incessantly interesting look at these vital issues, made up of mixture of interviews with young Chinese artists, filmmakers, and musicians (who speak with surprising candor), along with clips from plays and films, art exhibitions, and visits to the artists' studios. This film is of great value to American university students, not only as a way to learn about 'Red China,' but, more importantly, as a way to better understand the acts of their own government." - Ballast Quarterly Review

    DVD (Color) / 2000 / 73 minutes

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    By Yue-Qing Yang

    In feudal China, women, usually with bound feet, were denied educational opportunities and condemned to social isolation. But in Jian-yong county in Hunan province, peasant women miraculously developed a separate written language, called Nu Shu, meaning "female writing." Believing women to be inferior, men disregarded this new script, and it remained unknown for centuries. It wasn't until the 1960s that Nu Shu caught the attention of Chinese authorities, who suspected that this peculiar writing was a secret code for international espionage. Today, interest in this secret script continues to grow, as evidenced by the wide critical acclaim of Lisa See's recent novel, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, about Nu Shu.

    NU SHU: A HIDDEN LANGUAGE OF WOMEN IN CHINA is a thoroughly engrossing documentary that revolves around the filmmaker's discovery of eighty-six-year-old Huan-yi Yang, the only living resident of the Nu Shu area still able to read and write Nu Shu. Exploring Nu Shu customs and their role in women's lives, the film uncovers a women's subculture born of resistance to male dominance, finds a parallel struggle in the resistance of Yao minorities to Confucian Han Chinese culture, and traces Nu Shu's origins to some distinctly Yao customs that fostered women's creativity.

  • "An eye opener. Good documentaries are able to not only uncover facts but get to the emotional core of their human subjects. Yue-Qing Yang does just that." - Mark Andrews, Vancouver Sun

  • "Yang's film is an intimate look at all aspects of the women's lives: their abusive husbands, the hardships and hunger they faced, and the beauty of their songs and embroidery." - Lisa Smedman, Vancouver Echo

  • "We just don't get a chance to see China on such an intimate level. This film is absolutely fascinating." - Netty Wild, Filmmaker

    DVD (Color) / 1999 / 59 minutes

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    In China, where approximately 80 percent of the population is rural, the impact of democratic village elections could reshape the future of the nation. Although some Chinese are skeptical, many believe that establishing democracy at the local level will pave the way for a democratic national government. This program focuses on the efforts of The Carter Center to support China's initiative by inviting Chinese delegates to observe U.S. primaries and by sending emissaries to China to assist in the mechanics of gathering and tabulating votes. In its post -Mao effort to catch up economically with other nations, China is opening the door to Western ways and attempting to take its place in the growing Global Village.

    Note: Only available in the US, Canada, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Japan

  • Emmy Award Nominee

    DVD / 1998 / 29 minutes

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    By Mayfair Yang

    "THROUGH CHINESE WOMEN'S EYES offers an insightful journey into the transformations in the lives of Chinese women over the 20th century. In a fascinating overview, anthropologist/director Mayfair Yang documents the attempts to erase gender differences under Mao, today's changing ideas of femininity, and the crystallization of Chinese feminism at the UN Women's conference in Beijing. As propaganda films and news footage of the 1960's, present day television images, and interview footage from the 1990's mingle in a rich visual history, teachers, karaoke singers, organizers, and others share their lives. This sensitive portrayal of the daily experiences and historical memories of Chinese is essential to an understanding of contemporary feminisms." - Faye Ginsburg, New York University

  • "A visual and conceptual compilation of incredible interest and a fascinating exploration of the contradictions and satisfactions of Chinese feminism." - Janet Walker, UC Santa Barbara

  • "A remarkable and complex visualization... compelling both as image and scholarship." - Shirley Lim, UC Santa Barbara

    DVD (Color) / 1997 / 52 minutes

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    By Georges Dufaux

    A penetrating look at urban life in contemporary China, this film takes us into the rhythms of the great train station in Wuchang, a city of four million in Hubei province, 240 kilometers south of Beijing. We watch long lines of passengers guided and exhorted to be orderly by station employees, who win red flags for neat rows of travelers. Young and old workers talk about their daily lives, the impact of the revolution, their jobs. We witness the retirement party of 60-year-old Lin Pingjie, celebrated with thermoses of tea, drums and cymbals, and resounding speeches.

    DVD (Color) / 1980 / 59 minutes

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    By George Chang, Richard Chen and Norman Miller

    The film concerns the traditional "floating population" who fish Chinese coastal waters from family sized Junks based in Hong Kong in competition with salaried fisherman using large, mechanized boats. The combined effect of education and an increased integration with shore life is putting strains on the old ways.

    This is a "process film" in that it portrays the economic activities of three fishing families, each pursuing a different kind of fishing. Like the whole "Faces Of Change" series, it focuses on rural people using small-scale technology. Other fishing methods exist in the South China Sea-the large "long-liners" and deep-sea trawlers are big business operations with hired crews and constantly changing technology.

    China Coast fishing styles around Hong Kong waters have changed greatly in the last decade. Most of the sailing junks have given way to junks with small inboard diesel engines. Of the nearly 5,800 registered boats in Hong Kong in 1973, less than 900 had sails of any kind and many of these had auxiliary engines.

    The scale of fishing operations here is far larger than one might expect. The former British territory of Hong Kong has some 280 islands and encompasses 404 square miles of water. Fishing people often shelter in the bays of uninhabited islands and use the beaches to clean their boats. Many boats are double licensed and ply the waters of both Hong Kong and mainland China. The small family junk is found along the whole South China coast.

    DVD (Color) / 1974 / 19 minutes

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    By George Change, Richard Chen and Norman Miller

    A fourteen-year-old boy, living with his family on a fishing junk near a small island in Hong Kong territory reflects on his visits to an ancient harbor town, on his experiences in school, and on his future. His teacher, his parents, and the village headman provide three other vectors on Hoy Fok's life and expectations.

    DVD (Color) / 1974 / 32 minutes

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    By George Chang, Richard Chen, and Norman Miller

    Tai A Chau is home for both farmers and fishermen who use the island as a permanent harborfor their small floating homes. The daily routines of Mr. Wong, a fisherman, and Mr. Ng, a farmer, are representative of their respective problems of survival, mutual dependence, and hopes for the future.

    Island in the China Sea is the introductory film in the China Coast series of Faces of Change. It provides a broad overview of the rural societies of both the island farmer and the boat people who harbor here. It traces the lifestyle of agricultural and fishing families, juxtaposing their daily activities and their tacit interaction. The symbiosis is in delicate balance, however, since ideas of class and caste set the two groups apart. Island farmers have traditionally regarded boat people as inferior.

    DVD (Color) / 1974 / 16 minutes

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    By George Change, Richard Chen and Norman Miller

    A young, a middle-aged, and an old woman all agree that life on a small Chinese island in Hong Kong waters is better for them now than it was in the past. Participating fully in the island's decision-making and economic life, they also share equally with men in the rigors of manual labor.

    DVD (Color) / 1974 / 17 minutes

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    They live there. They eat there. Their children attend school there. But most of all, they work there. They are the 17000 employees of EUPA, a "Factory City" in the southeast corner of China. EUPA's massive workforce pumps out 15 million irons per year, millions of sandwich grills, microwaves, coffee makers and blenders. Now they are about to take the manufacturing world by storm with their introduction of solar powered products. The show will focus not on how the goods are made, but how the Factory City operates. It is a novel concept for the rest of the world but it has become a way of life in China, where a new industrial revolution is unfolding on a scale the world has never seen before.

    DVD / (Grades 9-12) / 60 mintues

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