China - new series on BBC2 television
This series starts soon and although the film-maker had permission from the Minister of Information and had minders from Beijing, it isn't all a rosy picture.
China is a new series on BBC2 starting on Tuesday 13 June 2006 at 9 pm. The four programmes in the series are: Power and the People, Women of the Country , Shifting Nature and Freedom and Justice. There is an article about the series on pages 16-17 of the new edition of the Radio Times. "It's frequently grim, and on occasion frightening - this is a world that George Orwell would have recognised."
That reminds me that I want to read Orwell's 1984 again. I think that it will be well worth taking a look at the series.
Update (30 June 2006): There is now just one more of the series to be broadcast. The fourth part, titled Freedom and Justice, is on BBC2 on Tuesday 4 July at 9 pm until 10 pm. According to the description in Radio Times the film looks at how the Chinese authorities keep the lid on religion and on movements such as Falun Gong. It also follows ordinary Chinese protesting about forced evctions, cover-ups, corruption and land-grabbing. It goes inside a labour camp where women are sent, without trial, for up to four years. Update (5 July 2006): Now this short series has ended. I watched most but not all of the films. I felt that it was like being a tourist but with the advantage of having subtitles and of hearing a range of opinions. Those interviewed included academics, government officials and citizens. China is a vast country and has a long history. Presenting a picture of it in four hours to a British audience is a difficult task. The final episode was titled Freedom and Justice. Much of it was about the lack of freedom and justice. It included some scenes from inside a women's labour camp where those held (for up to four years) had not receved a trial. There were many scenes in the film of people who were frustrated by the failures of government. One part which was very sad was about a village in southern China where the people tried to overthrow the corrupt local government and replace it with a better one. They seemed to be succeeding and then the authorities decided that they couldn't allow the people to have power and the old leaders were re-installed.
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