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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

The Conservation Alliance

Chinese Filmmaking
Hugh Bollinger

Chinese Filmmaking


Under The Dome, Chai Jing, film poster (credit: Under the Dome)


Chinese filmmakers have a long tradition of using a simple device to tell a huge story. They often utilize a single individual or family as the vehicle around which a full drama or documentary unfolds. Whether it is Zhang Yimou telling his lyrical drama of a rural school teacher in northern China trying to help her students in The Road Home: the stirring documentary Up the Yangtze by Yung Chang that showcases the impacts of the Three Gorges Dam on a rapidly industrializing China; or Dead Pigs by Cathy Yan who focuses of individuals facing change from mass urbanization and corruption, China's filmmakers know how to tell a stunning, important, and even funny tale.

Now, that same approach was taken by a news anchorwoman who left her position with China's national television station. Chai Jing decided to investigate the role of China's toxic air and water pollution on children, an environmental story familiar to everyone in China. Under the Dome was viewed by more than 200 million people before it was blocked by sensors. An English-captioned version is available.

As you view her pollution reporting, consider how many great, important, and engaging stories could be told by using the simplest and most personal of filmmaking devices. WHB

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