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Up the Yangtze

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Canada · 2007
1h 33m
Director Yung Chang
Starring Campbell Ping He, Jerry Bo Yu Chen, Cindy Shui Yu
Genre Documentary

This documentary follows the effects of the building of the Three Gorges Dam, the contested symbol of the Chinese economic miracle. Constructed on the mythic Yangtze river, the dam will displace many rural farmers in the region and shift the local economy to become more consumer focused as it brings in more cosmopolitan tourists.

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Village Voice by

By journey's end, Yung has found, in the Yangtze, a brilliant natural metaphor for upward mobility in modern China: Whether they hail from the lowlands or the urban centers, everyone here is scrambling to reach higher ground.


Salon by Andrew O'Hehir

Chang's images of the Yangtze and the new megacities replacing the villages on its banks are spectacular, and his cast of characters rival any fiction film I've seen recently.


TV Guide Magazine by Ken Fox

May be the best film to date about the humanitarian and environmental impact of China's enormous Three Gorges Dam project.


Los Angeles Times by Kenneth Turan

One of the real pluses of Up the Yangtze, aside from its empathy with its subjects, is its striking visual quality. Beijing-based cinematographer Wang Shi Qing has an impeccable eye, often coming up with haunting images that show both the beauty and uncertainty of this pivotal time.


Miami Herald by Rene Rodriguez

By focusing on his two young protagonists, Chang is able to explore the cultural differences between China and the rest of the world, resulting in sequences that are alternately humorous and eye-opening

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