Up the Yangtze | 2008

Foreign, Documentary
In China, it is simply known as "The River." But the Yangtze--and all of the life that surrounds it--is undergoing a truly astonishing transformation wrought by the largest hydroelectric project in history, the Three ...more
Director: Yung Chang
Writers: Yung Chang
Awards: 3 wins & 1 nomination | full awards »

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Synopsis

In China, it is simply known as "The River." But the Yangtze--and all of the life that surrounds it--is undergoing a truly astonishing transformation wrought by the largest hydroelectric project in history, the Three Gorges Dam. A "farewell cruise" traverses the gargantuan waterway, and below deck a bewildered young girl trains as a dishwasher--sent to work by her peasant family, who is on the verge of relocation from the encroaching floodwaters. Above deck, a phalanx of wealthy international tourists set sail to catch a last glance of a country in dramatic flux. The teenaged employees who serve and entertain them--now tagged with new Westernized names like Cindy and Jerry by upper management--warily grasp at the prospect of a more prosperous future.

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