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Society and Culture in China


By WEN Hai and ZENG Jinyan
Animation directed by Trish McAdam

A performance artist approaches a dais with a quiet formality, then proceeds to slowly and deliberately slice a series of cuts into her face with a razor. A doctoral student/filmmaker, under house arrest and constant surveillance, walks up to a vehicle following her and holds up a sign saying, "Shame to insult a woman." Female factory workers describe being arrested and harassed when they stand up for their rights.

Shot over eight years, OUTCRY AND WHISPER is a highly personal and sometimes uncomfortably intimate documentary chronicling women's oppression and resistance in mainland China and Hong Kong. One remarkable and tumultuous sequence is shot in the midst of Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrations.

Co-director ZENG Jinyan-the filmmaker who confronts those tailing her-records striking acts of resistance while also sharing excerpts from her own video diary, in which she talks about her enforced separation from her activist husband and the sexual harassment she faces. Female workers-often from rural provinces, who have come to big cities to work-share their stories of being placed under surveillance for organizing, and being arrested by police working in concert with factory owners.

Zeng and Wen previously collaborated on WE THE WORKERS, a verite documentary about the struggles of largely male union activists organizing workers in China. With OUTCRY AND WHISPER, their focus on women broadens the scope beyond labor. From factory workers gathering to demand collective bargaining to women gathering for a feminist film group, they highlight the common struggles women face, and their inventive and powerful means of fighting back.

DVD (Mandarin, With English Subtitles, Color) / 2020 / 100 minutes

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Director: Cheryl Haines

In the 1950s, Ai Weiwei's father, a dissident poet, received an anonymous postcard while in exile. This one small act of humanity had a profoundly moving and transformational impact on both father and son. In Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly, Weiwei elaborates on this meaningful event, revealing candid details about his childhood, including years of privation on the edge of the Gobi Desert. The years in the Gobi, along with Weiwei's 2011 detention by Chinese authorities, became the inspiration for his revolutionary exhibition @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz, a monumental presentation of new artworks addressing the struggle for fundamental human rights.

In @Large, Weiwei - though still prevented from traveling abroad - transformed Alcatraz, America's most notorious prison, into a powerful expression of socially engaged art, including portraits made from LEGO bricks of prisoners of conscience from around the world. Throughout the film, we discover how personal these issues of injustice and incarceration are for Ai Weiwei and the extent to which he wove his family's experiences into the exhibition.

For the final piece of the exhibition, Weiwei, inspired by his father's story, invited visitors to write messages of hope to imprisoned activists using postcards imprinted with the national birds and flowers of the countries where the prisoners were being held. The project was named Yours Truly and by the time the exhibition ended, over 90,000 postcards had been sent across the globe. Then something even more astonishing happened: prisoners and their families began writing back!

Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly follows these postcards around the globe, from Alcatraz to Bahrain, Washington D.C., Cairo and beyond, as former prisoners of conscience - and the families of those still detained - reveal the comfort they found in messages from people they would never meet.

DVD (English, Mandarin and Arabic, With English Subtitles) / 2019 / 78 minutes

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Director: Jingyuan Han

Liu Haiying, referred by his patients as the "World's Magical Surgeon", is a Doctor of Medicine who grew up in the 1980s. His study experience in Germany in the 1990s allowed him to develop a rigorous and meticulous professional style. In his many years of medical practice, Liu Haiying often helped patients with severe spinal deformities from poor families with his own money. He knew that if these people did not undergo surgeries, they'd soon face organ failure or death. But he also couldn't afford to do long-term funding. Later, he used the donations of recovered patients and their family members as well as some caring individuals as the initial capital, and established a spine health philanthropic foundation named after him. Relying on the hospital department led by him, he began medical treatment for patients from poor families in the central and western regions in China. However, the heavy workload around the clock had turned this good doctor into a patient to be looked after. His colleagues advised him to take care of his family and body more, but he couldn't stop his efforts to "save those in need". He is still stumbling along the way and guarding the patients that he could never give up on.

DVD / 2019 / 86 minutes

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Director: Mijie Li

Filmmaker Mijie Li's first feature (she co-produced Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert's American Factory), Confucian Dream is an observational documentary about a Chinese woman's embrace of the ancient philosophy of Confucianism and how it affects her family.

Chaoyan, a young wife and mother, believes the ancient teachings of Confucianism will restore balance, respect and morality to her home. She involves her four-year-old son in the rigorous routine of chanting daily mantras. Little Chen may not yet understand the recitations' meanings, but mom is confident she's planting a seed for the future.

Chaoyan's husband finds the daily practice excessive, and indeed many Chinese people today criticize it as feudalistic, conservative, and counter-revolutionary. While Confucianism's primary purpose is to instill peace and harmony, the opposite occurs between Chaoyan and her husband as their beliefs clash and their arguments escalate, bringing forth a gripping portrait of marital and parental crisis.

DVD (Mandarin with English Subtitles) / 2019 / 82 minutes

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Directed by Pema Tseden
By Jacky Pang and Wong Kar-Wai

This is a story of revenge and redemption.

On an isolated road passing through the vast barren plains of Tibet, a truck driver who has accidentally run over a sheep chances upon a young man who is hitching a ride. As they drive and chat, the truck driver notices that his new friend has a silver dagger strapped to his leg. He comes to understand that this man is out to kill someone who wronged him earlier in life. As he drops the hitchhiker off at a fork in the road, little does the truck driver realize that their short time together has changed everything, and that their destinies are inexorably intertwined.

On the path of life, sometimes we meet someone whose dreams overtake our own to the point that they converge.

DVD (Tibetan, Color, With English Subtitles) / 2019 / 87 minutes

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Tea, it has transformed the way the world interacts. In more than 160 countries, three billion people regularly experience the flavour and fascination of tea. China grows more tea than any other country. Chinese tea is transported across oceans, to caress palates in every corner of the world. Countries have boundaries, but tea is boundless. By crossing boundaries, real and imagined, this taste of China has become a taste that belongs to the whole world.

A Journey of Tea introduces the time-honored Chinese civilization embodied in Chinese tea and the profound influence exerted by Chinese tea on the whole world over the past 400 years. The cast and crew for the first time conducted in-depth interviews in the original tea-producing areas of most famous Chinese teas. They explore the best of what these sublime drinks can offer and dive into the history of Chinese tea, in an effort to deepen the public's knowledge of Chinese tea-drinking traditions and provide guide to the most healthy ways to drink tea. Shot in 11 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions including Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Tibet, Hainan, Shandong, Taiwan, Yunnan, and Fujian and three foreign countries, namely Japan, the United Kingdom and Kenya, 11 film crews teaming up with the BBC spent three years in three continents to offer a deep insight into Chinese tea culture via advanced photography technology to shoot the documentary such as aerial photography, ultra-high-speed photography and eco-photomicrography.

DVD / 2017 / 55 minutes

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By Miao Wang

Chinese teenagers from the wealthy elite, with big American dreams, settle into a boarding school in small-town Maine. As their fuzzy visions of the American dream slowly gain more clarity, their relationship to home takes on a poignant new aspect.

Filmed over three years in China and the U.S., MAINELAND is a multi-layered coming-of-age tale that follows two affluent and cosmopolitan teenagers as they settle into a boarding school in blue-collar rural Maine. Part of the enormous wave of "parachute students" from China enrolling in U.S. private schools, bubbly, fun-loving Stella and introspective Harry come seeking a Western-style education, escape from the dreaded Chinese college entrance exam, and the promise of a Hollywood-style U.S. high school experience. In one sleepy Maine town, worlds collide as students fresh from China learn to navigate the muddy waters of this microcosmic global village.

Through lyrical cinematography that transports us from China to the U.S., MAINELAND captures a new crop of future Chinese elites as they try to find their place between the collectivist society they come from and the individualist culture they come to embrace. As Stella and Harry's fuzzy visions of the American dream slowly gain more clarity, they ruminate on their experiences of alienation, culture clash, and personal identity, sharing new understandings and poignant discourses on home and country.

DVD (Color) / 2017 / 90 minutes

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With beautiful sights and sounds, this series provides a rare glimpse into Chinese culture through the introduction of seven representative dance forms. It traces the historical and geographical roots of the dance traditions in China and looks into what inspires people to create dance, how contemporary artists breathe new life into the dance traditions, as well as the distinguishing features and techniques of each dance form. Featuring internationally recognized Chinese dance master, choreographer and director Yang Liping and internationally acclaimed dance choreographer Zheng Jigang.

Dunhuang Dance is a form of Chinese dance that draws sources from body movements depicted in artifacts found in Dunhuang Mogao Caves. Located in Gansu Province of China, along the Silk Route, at the crossroads of trade as well as religious, cultural and intellectual influences, the seven hundred and thirty five caves are famous for their statues and fresco paintings, spanning 1,000 year of Buddhist art. Thousand Hand Guan Yin, a representative of Dunhuang Dance featured in this program is a contemporary creation conceived by the renowned Chinese choreographer, ZHANG Jigang, and produced by the China Disabled Performing Art Troupe. In this dance, a group of hearing-impaired dancers effectively utilize their body language to communicate the magic of "thousand hands" and hints at the deep meaning of Buddhism, its luminescence and boundless love.

Long Sleeve Dance provides an overview of the historical development of Long Sleeve Dance, a dance form dating back to the 7th century B.C.E, a time that is known as the Spring-and-Autumn period in Chinese history. It introduces a handful of codified language of Long Sleeve Dance. Highlighted are the long Sleeve dance performances titled The Colors of Water choreographed by WANG Yukn and MIAO Xiaolong and Zhao Jun Departs the Frontier choreographed by JIANG Huaxuan. In Zhao Jun Departs the Frontier, LIU Min, a nationally acclaimed dance master, employes exquisite language of Long Sleeve to convey the conflicted emotions of ZHAO Jun (one of "The Four Beauties" known in Chinese History) as she Leaves her homeland and lavish lifestyle for the grasslands of the remote north as part of peace treaty. The dance tells an ancient story of loyalty, heroism and self-sacrifice for the common good.

DVD / 2016 / 21 minutes

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With beautiful sights and sounds, this series provides a rare glimpse into Chinese culture through the introduction of seven representative dance forms. It traces the historical and geographical roots of the dance traditions in China and looks into what inspires people to create dance, how contemporary artists breathe new life into the dance traditions, as well as the distinguishing features and techniques of each dance form. Featuring internationally recognized Chinese dance master, choreographer and director Yang Liping and internationally acclaimed dance choreographer Zheng Jigang.

Ethnic Dance-Dai: Located in the southwest region of China, Dai people enjoy mild weather and beautiful landscapes of mountains and lakes. While the water splashing and dragon boating events held in their annual spring festival showcase the close ties between their culture and the land, the water running in the rivers and lakes has often been the inspiration for their dance creations.

Ethnic Dance-Aini: Neighboring with the Dai group, Aini group lives primarily in and around mountains and canyons at an altitude of twenty-five to eighty hundred feet. They are famous for their production of Pu Er Tea. Dancing and singing are second nature to the Aini people. In this program, while listening to the folk song titled Magical Village by famous Aini singer MI Xian, the audience will enjoy Ainis cultural traditions of tea brewing and folk dancing by girls clapping to the rhythm and wearing spectacular ceremonial costumes.

Ethnic Dance-Tibetan: Living on the Plateau, at an average elevation of over 12 thousand feet above sea level, the Tibetan people are known to be compassionate, bold, candid and devout. Most Tibetans practice Tibetan Buddhism. Just as the distinctive geographical and weather conditions in the region have influenced their dance movements, Tibetan's sacred religious beliefs and political climate have also had an impact.

Ethnic Dance-Inner Mongolian: In this program, the ethereal voice of Buren Bayaer (a legendary Inner Mongolian Singer), along with the images of yurts and running horses, brings the audience to an otherworldly setting of Inner Mongolia. Inner Mongolians, in general, are known to excel at horse riding. The span of the great plain has cultivated the openness and strength in this ethnic group and nurtured their vigorous, bold and energetic dances.

Ethnic Dance-Han: Han is the largest ethnic group in China, whose people inhabit the middle and eastern regions of the country. Hans folk dance tradition started on the streets in the 5th century as ritual events. Nowadays, this tradition named Yangko flourishes everywhere, on the streets, in classrooms and on stages. This program showcases a myriad of Yangko forms, both on and off stage, including Northeastern Yanko, Shandong Yanko and Shanbei Yanko, each has its distinctive features.

DVD / 2016 / 47 minutes

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By Yi Cui

Includes two short films, LATE SUMMER and THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS.

OF SHADOWS is set in the unique landscape of China's Loess Plateau, where the shadow play, as an enigmatic art form, has entertained people and deities for centuries. The film follows a lively and resilient group of shadow play performers as they navigate between the rural staging of ancient plays and the urban spectacle of national cultural heritage.

The film starts when the local performers in a small county called Huanxian are gathered to rehearse for the region's shadow theatre festival. The performance of modern cultural preservation is contemplated, as the folk artists move towards a grand stage. Meanwhile, the filmmaker follows the same group of performers into mountain villages where the shadow play theatre serves local life. A poetic picture of the folk artists unfolds as their everyday life and performance meander through light and shadow.

By juxtaposing the rural and the urban, the grassroots and the official, the state and the local, the light and the shadow, the film paints a haunting portrait of a revered folk tradition transforming against the backdrop of a country in constant transition.

As the last part of Yi Cui's trilogy Ying, which explores the theme of cultural decay and revival, OF SHADOWS goes beyond the melancholy over the decline of traditional culture and searches for the resilience and vitality in the grassroots and the folklore. This poetic ethnography continues the filmmaker's pursuit for the rhythmic flow in cinematic medium - meanings are conveyed not only through narrative threads but also through the musicality.

DVD (Mandarin With English Subtitles, Color) / 2016 / 79 minutes

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  • China's history
  • 20th Century China
  • Chinese Industrial Development

  • How has China transformed, inside 30 years, from developing nation to the world's next largest economy after the USA? Includes interviews with historians, eye-witnesses and party officials.

    TIANANMEN SQUARE A dramatic turning point was the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 - the communist party decided to bring in economic, if not political, freedom. It meant an historic turning away from state control to a market economy.

    AN ANCIENT CIVILISATION But the causes of China's rise go right back into history, to the world's oldest civilisation, and in a sense it is only returning to its former greatness.

    COMMUNISM GOOD AND BAD Despite the excesses, it can be argued the communist takeover in 1947 laid the foundations for China's rise, beginning the process of industrialisation, mobilising the people and sharing out the land more equally. One of its key achievements: allowing social mobility. But inequality, corruption and pollution are causing widespread protest.

    DVD / 2014 / 25 minutes

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  • China's world role
  • China in Africa, Europe, Latin America
  • China as a world power

  • China is flexing its economic muscle, investing all over the world. What does this mean for the West?

    AFRICA China needs access to energy and raw materials - that's why it's pouring huge investment into Africa. Mozambique's economy, for example, is booming, with Chinese-led construction and agriculture projects. Is this part of a "grand plan" on China's part? Who is "master" and who is "servant" in these new relationships?

    THE EU also receives Chinese money, and is China's largest trading partner, but what about principles such as human rights? Critics argue the EU is in danger of losing its sovereignty in the rush for China's gold.

    CONFLICT WITH THE USA? As China asserts itself on the world stage, is there a danger of conflict with the USA? In fact, China is a long way from challenging the USA militarily and anyway, conflict is "unthinkable", the experts say, in the nuclear age and when the two powers are economically co-dependent.

    DVD / 2014 / 25 minutes

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  • China's political system
  • Popular protest in China
  • Internet censorship in China

  • China is now a market economy, but holds on to the communist political system - pollution, corruption and ethnic divisions cause great tensions.

    POLITICS They call it "Socialism with Chinese characteristics" but the communist party has a monopoly on power and no opposition is tolerated. There are tensions in regions such as Xinjiang Province where movements for independence have led to violence.

    PROTEST In a one-party system the people are the opposition. A major cause of popular protest is land expropriations to build factories. The party says it must listen to these protests - but are they?

    FREEDOM OF SPEECH Protests grow against censorship and human rights violations - the authorities try to clamp down but the internet is hard to censor. Says one blogger: "We can hope for a civil society, where people may dare to speak out."

    DVD / 2014 / 25 minutes

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  • Chinese business case studies
  • The Chinese economic miracle
  • Women in business
  • Small businesses in China

  • China's "new billionaires" are well-known but what about the small businesses? Many were set up by migrants who have battled against hardship - and many are women.

    THE PR BUSINESS 24 year old Tian Qiuyu started her business while she was still at university and now employs 6 people - but she never forgets her roots in a poor, remote village area where education was a fight against the odds. She wants to help educate other young people from the country. "They shouldn't just accept their fate. I didn't."

    THE BEAUTY SALON Yu Xinpei is also the daughter of poor farmers, but now owns two beauty parlours and employs 60 people. She now mixes with Shanghai's other young high-flyers whom she is keen to learn from.

    But for most migrants, earning a living is a hard struggle. Mrs Zhang set up a small retail business with her husband - with the heartbreak of leaving her children behind.

    DVD / 2014 / 23 minutes

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  • China's social development
  • Modern China
  • Conditions in rural China

  • A big principle of socialism is equality, but China's new society has glaring inequalities. The communist party calls it "socialism with Chinese characteristics" but, in the rush for growth, have they created a society far harsher than western capitalism?

    COMMUNISM COMES TO IKEA The new China now has a growing middle class with the same aspirations as their western counterparts - they want good schools, a good apartment, holidays, a decent retirement package - and furniture from Ikea!

    TOWN AND COUNTRY But the "economic miracle" has left millions behind - there is much hardship in China's vast hinterland where water is scarce and harvests are poor. The government says it is listening to the protests of the disenfranchised - but are they not more interested in holding on to power?

    DVD / 2014 / 23 minutes

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  • China's urban migration
  • Modern China
  • China's industrial revolution

  • Chinese development has depended on a vast influx of 250 million migrant workers into the cities - some have prospered but most are poorly paid and housed, with few rights. Mass protests mean the government can no longer take them for granted.

    THE TRAINEE CHEF'S STORY Li Xu Bin is a migrant worker like millions of others, on low pay and with little job security, living with his wife in a single room in Beijing's suburbs. They have left their child behind, the cause of much heartache.

    THE FRUIT VENDORS Like Li Xu Bin, Mr and Mrs Zhang have moved to the city to earn money to pay for their children's education. The rules say their children must stay behind. Meanwhile they have to work all hours to make ends meet. Says Mrs Zhang: "We never have a single day off."

    DVD / 2014 / 21 minutes

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  • China's air and water crisis
  • Renewable energy in China
  • China's industrial development

  • The Chinese want the same life style as the West - but at what cost? The air and water are polluted, causing much suffering and protest - as well as a drought crisis. Chinese leaders talk of moving away from fossil fuels, but how much changes at local level?

    "THEY SILENCE OUR COMPLAINTS" The holiday resort of Hangzhou is supposed to be a model "green" city, but in the suburbs it's a story of toxic chemicals, corruption of local officials and suppression of protest.

    WATER CRISIS Over half of China's rivers and lakes are badly polluted, and the water table is falling. 300 million rural people lack access to safe drinking water. Ma Jun has created a website to shame the worst industrial polluters.

    RENEWABLES The experimental city of Himin Solar Valley is held up as a great example of sustainability - but is it too little, too late?

    DVD / 2014 / 28 minutes

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  • Women In China
  • Education In China
  • Universities In China
  • China's "One-Child" Policy

  • The communist revolution gave women theoretical equality, but centuries-old oppressions still persist. Women have suffered through the "one child" policy. But women are now among China's top entrepreneurs.

    "ONE CHILD" POLICY China's coercive policy of forbidding more than one child has had a cruel effect on China's women. The policy is now being relaxed - but some women are happy with one child.

    SUICIDE WATCH China is the only country where the suicide rate is higher among women than men - experts say this may be down to the low status of rural women. Can education help?

    "EDUCATION COMES FIRST" Language professor Wu Quing runs a vocational school for young rural women. "It's a man's world - but change rural women and you will change China."

    "THE STUDIES ARE DEMANDING" Architectural student Ghuan Zhaoyu is one of China's growing university population. She wants to study abroad but, as an only child, she has to think of her parents.

    DVD / 2014 / 26 minutes

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    By Daniel Traub

    "Drawing inspiration from the contemporary realities of his fast-changing country, Chinese artist Xu Bing spent two years creating his newest work, Phoenix. The installation features two monumental birds fabricated entirely from materials harvested from construction sites in urban China, including demolition debris, steel beams, tools, and remnants of the daily lives of migrant laborers. At once fierce and strangely beautiful, the mythic Phoenixes bear witness to the complex interconnection between labor, history, commercial development, and the rapid accumulation of wealth in today's China." - MASS MoCA

    The film Xu Bing: Phoenix documents the process of creating the work through to its installation at the Massachusetts' Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA).

    DVD (English, Mandarin, Color, With English Subtitles) / 2013 / 17 minutes

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    By Miao Wang

    BEIJING TAXI is a timely, uncensored and richly cinematic portrait of China's ancient capital as it undergoes a profound transformation. The film takes an intimate and compelling look at the lives of three cab drivers as they confront modern issues and changing values against the backdrop of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. Through their daily struggles infused with humor and quiet determination, BEIJING TAXI reveals the complexity and contradictions of China's shifting paradigm.

    BEIJING TAXI is a feature-length documentary that vividly portrays the ancient capital of China undergoing a profound transformation. The intimate lives of three taxi drivers are seen through a humanistic lens as they navigate a quickly morphing city, confronting modern issues and changing values. The three protagonists radiate a warm sense of humanity despite the struggles that each faces in adapting to new realities of life in the modern city. With stunning imagery of Beijing and a contemporary score rich in atmosphere, BEIJING TAXI communicates a visceral sense of the common citizens' persistent attempts to grasp the elusive. The 2008 Summer Olympic Games serve as the backdrop for BEIJING TAXI's story, a coming out party for a rising nation and a metaphor for Chinese society and its struggles to reconcile enormous contradictions while adjusting to a new capitalist system that can seem foreign to some in the Communist-ruled and educated society. Candid and perceptive in its filming approach and highly cinematic and moody in style, BEIJING TAXI takes us on a lyrical journey through fragments of a society riding the bumpy roads to modernization. Though its destination unknown, the drivers continue to forge ahead.

    DVD (Region 1, Mandarin, Color, With English Subtitles) / 2010 / 78 minutes

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    Mr Kong, known as Kong Fu to the Chinese and as Confucius to the outside world, was a sort of philosophical government advisor around 500 bc - 200 years or so before the Chinese Empire was founded.

    He tried to persuade the rulers of the time that for a harmonious and orderly society the rulers had to behave honourably. "Treat others as you would have them treat you." If the rulers are honourable and trustworthy, he argued, then there is a better chance that the people will be too.

    Astonishingly, this simple idea was taken up and put into effect by a long succession of capable rulers and administrators. It had a profound effect on Chinese life over many centuries and still does today.

    From a failed communist state in 1979, China has risen to be the world's second largest economy today, a situation of which few of us can be unaware. Who doesn't own a gadget "Made in China"? It's little short of a miracle.

    But what would Mr Kong make of the current government? Is it honourable? Can it produce a harmonious society? Will it all end in grief? Given all the problems, what will happen next?

    We can't say. However, the more we appreciate the astonishing Chinese story revealed in these 5 programmes and the contributions it has already made to human society under the benign influence of Mr Kong, the more sympathetic we will be towards its current rise and hopefully the more confident that the Chinese will somehow find a peaceful way forward.

    1. The Middle Kingdom: The Democratic Viewpoint, Geography, The Dynasties, Confucius, China Today.
    2. Matters of the Mind: Superstition, Confucian Commentators, Taoism, Buddhism, Tibet, Sung Education.
    3. Heart and Soul: Bronzes, Ceramics, the Character Script, Poetry, Literature.
    4. From Harmony to Discord: Music, Gardens, Painting, Science, The Descent into Chaos.
    5. The Rough Road to Freedom: Japan, The End of the Empire, Communism, Overseas Chinese, the current Dilemma.

    5 DVDs / 250 minutes

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    The Middle Kingdom today - how China is viewed through the eyes of the democratic nations of the world.

    Geography - The all important geography of China and how it has affected China's past.

    The Dynasties of China - A brief overview of the Dynasties of China, remarkable for their duration and the peace and stability they engendered.

    About Confucius - Confucius and his thinking, and how he came to dominate the Chinese world view.

    Writing and control - The establishment of the Chinese character script and how it affected the controls of government.

    Modern China - The establishment of modern China and its current undemocratic government.

    DVD / 50 minutes

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    Superstition - Superstition, like everywhere else in the world, largely dominated the Chinese mind in early times.

    Commentators on the works of Confucius - Confucian ideas established themselves but there were many commentators over the following centuries who muddied the waters.

    The Han Dynasty - The Han dynasty was principally responsible for making Confucian ideas the norm for government and society.

    Taoism - Taoism, growing out of early animism, developed ideas of non-interference in the ways of nature.

    Buddhism - Buddhism, imported from India, introduced ideas of rebirth and reward for good conduct.

    China and Tibet - Today China rules Tibet as it has always done. A largely Buddhist country, it has problems with the secular Chinese.

    Sung Education and the Mandarin Bureaucracy - In the Sung dynasty, education according to Confucian principles was established on a huge and influential scale.

    DVD / 50 minutes

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    Art and the Bronzes - After trying to establish what art is we look at the wonderful bronze work of early times in China.

    Ceramics - Fine ceramics from many different ages have come down to us; in particular the Tang Sung and Ming dynasty ware.

    The Chinese Character Script - The Chinese character script is difficult to learn but beautiful to see and writing it is regarded as an art form.

    Poetry - Poets have always been held in high regard in China. Even in translation their particular beauties shine through.

    Literature - Literature in the form of plays and novels developed in later centuries just as they did in other parts of the world.

    Epilogue - After their early brilliance, under a deeply conservative leadership, the talents of the Chinese in all fields began to be stifled and consequently to decay.

    DVD / 50 minutes

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    Music - Music was much enjoyed by Confucius who saw it as a basic element of human harmony.

    Houses, Gardens and the Honourable man - With due Confucian regard for order and control over nature, the Chinese gardens are amongst the greatest beauties of the land.

    Painting and the Honourable man - For many centuries Chinese painters have wonderfully depicted the people and the landscape.

    Science - No society has done so much for science; their great qualities of curiosity and invention have been an immeasurable gift to the world.

    Descent into chaos - As the Confucian ethic is dimmed and clouded by blind conservatism, battered by outside forces, Chinese society disintegrates.

    DVD / 50 minutes

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    Taiping Rebellion - Driven partly by the injustices suffered by the poor and a muddled view of the religious beliefs imported by western missionaries, the Taiping Rebellion rocked China to the core.

    Japan - Japan, looked down on by the Chinese as of little import, displays how it has adapted to the times as the Chinese have not.

    The Boxers and the end of the empire - As the empire collapses, a secret society called the Boxers feebly attempts to drive out the foreigners.

    Japan and the Communist takeover - Japan invades and after the second world war the Communists take over and impose order.

    China and the Communists - The rule of Mao and the Communists.

    Overseas Chinese - Effective Overseas Chinese communities.

    China: The Great Dilemma - The Great Dilemma which faces the Chinese today is how to bring about the democratic freedoms which society deserves without bringing Chaos yet again.

    DVD / 50 minutes

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