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Content

China New Faces


China New Faces



CHINA NEW FACES 1: A MARGINAL GROUP

Peasant workers have made silent contributions to the reform and opening-up of China, and have witnessed the transition and development of the history of modern China. Peasant workers return to their native land and there is a shortage of labour in Pearl River Delta, Guangdong. Such phenomenon has become an important issue. Having strived hard to make a living in urban areas, why these peasants decide to go home? The reasons behind are worthy of deep reflection.

This episode tells the true stories of two peasants who work in coastal cities and return to their homeland. The two cases illustrate the employment problems encountered by peasant workers and the changes experienced by this marginal group in the 30 years of economic reform in China.


DVD / 2008 / () / 30 minutes

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CHINA NEW FACES 2: MARRYING INTO HER FAMILY

In a traditional marriage, a woman marries into the husband?s family, and her children take on the family name of their father. However, in some rich cities in Zhejiang Province, things are changing.

The one-child policy has left some families with only one daughter. Feeling the need to carry on their family lineage, women now look for men who are willing to marry into their families so that their children could take up the mother?s surname. Meanwhile, men from other provinces are finding it hard to make ends meet in the cities, not to mention supporting a family. Because of this, some men are willing to do what it takes for a better life. With supply and demand in place, matchmaking agencies dedicated to this type of marriage are a thriving business.

This could be a win-win situation, but are things always as good as they seem?


DVD / 2008 / () / 30 minutes

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CHINA NEW FACES 3: THE MOSUO IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Sang Chu is a young Mosuo from Dazu Village at Lugu Lake Town, Yanyuan County, Sichuan. His family had been very poor until their family hostel, Gesang Garden, was launched in 2000.

The tide of reforms and opening-up in the new century has swept over the Mosuo at Lugu Lake. After some adventures, Gesang returned to his homeland before the National Day Golden Week in 2007. Like his fellow villagers, he was occupied with the business of his family hostel, making preparation for the Golden Week holiday. During the long holiday, crowds of tourists filled the quiet Lugu Lake with hustle and bustle.

The villagers were busied with touting for business and serving the tourists. Gesang's father expected his son would help the family to repay the low-interest loan soon. Gesang appeared to have devoted himself to the family business, but he was secretly seeking after the dream of becoming a superstar on television. He planned to leave again and look for opportunities despite objection of his family.


DVD / 2008 / () / 30 minutes

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CHINA NEW FACES 4: GIVE ME BACK THE NATURAL SCENERY

Thirty years of reform and opening up brings to China as much prosperity as pollution resulted from industrial development. Industrial wastewater led to polluted river, allegedly the root cause of the drastic rise of cancer cases in Wuli Village. Wai Dongying, a barely educated villager, recorded the death cases one by one in her "Diary of Death".

Zhang Changjian, a bare-foot doctor in Xiping, Fujian, witnessed the rising number of cancer patients in his village. As the regional officials turn a blind eye to the crisis, Zhang joined forces with more than 1,700 fellow villagers suing the chemical factory in their neighbourhood. Winning the case, Zhang found himself becoming a marked man...

The plight of the two "cancer villages" reveals the harm to the Chinese people brought by water pollution. China should have by now realised the price to pay for over development and that "good" is more important than "fast".


DVD / 2008 / () / 30 minutes

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CHINA NEW FACES 5: RETURNING SUPPORT TO RURAL AREAS

A group of advertising professionals lost interest in food bought from urban markets as large amount of pesticides and chemical fertilizers had been applied. To seek vanishing fine food, they traveled to rural areas and met the peasants. Under the surface of beautiful rural scenery, they witnessed the disparity between the urban rich and the rural poor resulting from 30 years of reforms and opening-up.

Ordinary picnics among a few friends during holidays have gradually become a movement of " Urban-Rural Interaction to Repay the Rural Areas " . Together with the peasants, these professionals make use of their creativity to work on farmland, pigpens, village houses and dining tables, and reflect on their vision of development and ideal lifestyle. They walk side by side with the peasants on the path of rural development, hoping that organic farming may bring higher income to peasants and healthier food to urban people.

Prosperous cities mark the achievements of 30 years of reforms and opening-up. However, such prosperity has been resulted from the continual support and sacrifices on the part of rural areas. Will the cities repay the rural areas in the future? Maybe it would happen in the next 30 years.


DVD / 2008 / () / 30 minutes

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CHINA NEW FACES 6: MONKS AND THE CITY

At 5 o'clock every morning, when the inhabitants of Anyuan Road are still sleeping soundly, over 10 monk students in Jade Buddha Monastery, Shanghai commence their new day as do other monks in the monastery. After praying and taking their breakfasts, these monks get on the "school bus" that is waiting outside the refectory, and travel to the outside world to study in a university.

Indeed, the Jade Buddha Monastery has been promoting the philosophy of "Living Buddhism", i.e. performing secular works with a spirit of indifference. Guided by such philosophy, the leadership of the monastery has selected some monks to study foreign languages and MBA, and strive to bring innovations to Buddhism, including the life of the monks. The monks participate in and organize social activities actively, and do not resist to act in a commercial way.


DVD / 2008 / () / 30 minutes

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CHINA NEW FACES 7: SORROW BEHIND REDEVELOPMENT

China is transforming with the construction of skyscrapers and modern architectures, which signify rapid economic development and the rise of a powerful nation. However, behind the scene of prosperity, many homes have been destroyed.

Zhang Wei used to reside in Xianyukou District, which belonged to a historical conservation district. Two years ago,the government demolished her home by force for reason of constructing new roads. It pushed Zhang Wei to the path of making appeals to higher authorities, and she determined to prove that the government had violated the Law on the Protection of Cultural Relics by carrying out illegal demolition. Unfortunately, the court delayed the trial deliberately and the police also hindered them from making appeals. It became a tough journey for her.

On 6th August 2008, two days prior to the opening of the Olympics, Zhang Wei was detained for 30 days on suspicion of undermining social order. The absence of an independent judiciary in China makes defending against illegal demolition more difficult.

There used to be over 300 households in Cuobuling Village, Qingdao. After illegal redevelopment carried out by the district government, only the household of Madam Yu remained. To persist in her defence, she had lived a life without water and electricity supply for over a year while expecting the court ruling at second instance. Being unable to seek help from the government, Yu Jian-li, one of the villagers, reported the crimes of corrupted officials on the internet. Consequently, he was convicted of defamation and sentenced to prison.

Although the Property Law has been promulgated for nearly a year, cases of incompliance with the law still exist. If the issue is not resolved, we will see more cases of illegal redevelopment in the future, pushing more people to the path of defending their rights.


DVD / 2008 / () / 30 minutes

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CHINA NEW FACES 8: VILLAGE OFFICIAL AS BLOGGER

"Don't think village heads are not cadres" was once a popular saying in Mainland China, meaning although the village head is a low ranking official, he is still a cadre and should not be overlooked.

Shen Yongqiang is the Secretary of the Communist Party Branch and Head of the Village Committee of Xiadongkuo Village in the outskirts of Beijing. Shen is no dimwit. In the summer of 2006, he started blogging to publicize his village, so as to attract investors to develop his ecology resort. It never occurred to Shen that his blog would record a hit rate of over 220,000 for the first two years. It even captured the attention of various media which then sent reporters to interview Shen.

However, Shen's putting village matters online has aroused concern and censorship from Town government. From Shen's happiness and trouble, we can see changes as well as rigidity of rural areas in China after reform and opening-up.


DVD / 2008 / () / 30 minutes

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