Trailer and synopsis
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The rise of a Green Movement in China
Waking the Green Tiger is a feature documentary from Face to Face Media, the
award winning team that created Nuclear Dynamite, the story of the environmental movement in America.
Seen through the eyes of activists, farmers, and journalists Waking the Green Tiger follows an extraordinary and unprecedented campaign to stop a huge dam project on the Upper Yangtze river in the high mountains of southwestern China.
Ending Mao’s War Against Nature
Featuring astonishing archival footage never seen outside China, and interviews with a government insider and witnesses, the documentary also tells the story of Chairman Mao’s determination to conquer nature in the name of progress. Millions of people were mobilized in campaigns that reshaped China’s landscape, destroyed lakes, marshes, forests and grasslands, unleashed dust storms, and stifled science. For fifty years the idea was instilled in succeeding generations that nature must serve the people. Critics of this approach were silenced for years.
Awakening a Grass Roots Movement
A new environmental movement, joining activists and farmers and supported by government insiders finally takes root when a new environmental law is passed. For the first time in China’s history, ordinary citizens have the democratic right to speak out and take part in government decisions. The activists set out to test their freedom and save a river. The movement they trigger has the potential to transform China.
The film includes footage shot over a six year period by one of China’s first environmental filmmakers, Shi Lihong, of Wild China Film. She and her husband Xi Zhinong are famous throughout China for an early environmental film about China’s endangered golden monkeys. Shi Lihong then shot and directed a revealing film about the fate of a farming community that was moved to make way for a dam. As we in show in Waking the Green Tiger, her documentary was used by farmers to organize resistance to a massive dam project at Tiger Leaping Gorge that would force 100,000 people to move .
We also had unprecedented access to China’s former director of Environmental Protection, Qu Geping. Honored with many international prizes including the Blue Planet award, Qu has been China’s “father of environmental protection” for more than 40 years. He gives us a candid, no-holds-barred look at the state of the environment in China, from Mao until now.