Last year, Asia Society presented Waking the Green Tiger: Documentaries from the Front Lines of China’s Environmental Crisis, a five-film series about environmental issues in China. The series’ titular documentary, Gary Marcuse’s Waking the Green Tiger 《唤醒绿色虎》, introduced to many, including us, China’s environmental movement, celebrating their successes and tireless dedication while reminding viewers of the obstacles they face.
The film chronicles China River Project’s grassroots campaign that in 2007 successfully stopped a plan to dam rivers in Yunnan Province for hydroelectric power that would have displaced 100,000 people. In contrast to the positive contributions of a small and self-motivated individuals and groups to protect the environment and natural resources against industrialization, we also see archival footage not previously seen outside of China that shows Mao Zedong’s mobilization of fervent masses to work on massive and destructive projects that harnessed and conformed nature to human interests and needs. People can make a difference.
Waking the Green Tiger is available for viewing online for free through the end of January on ChinaFile. Also available are the Q&A conducted after last year’s screening with Shi Lihong, an environmental activist who contributed footage and was interviewed in this film, and Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, Center on U.S.-China Relations, Asia Society and our interview with series programmer La Frances Hui.
Image: Farmers at the Manwan Dam courtesy of Face to Face Media