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The Long March

City Life - The Long March
China is already home to a fifth of the world's population. To relieve the pressure on scarce farm land and fragile topsoil, the Chinese government is building four hundred new cities over the next 20 years, each housing over half a million residents. New towns and settlements are springing up from nowhere. Others are witnessing an explosion in their populations, stretching their capacity to deliver essential services to breaking point. This film tells the story of one such town.

Chengdu, in South West China, was once the southern staging post for the silk trade and capital of Shu Kingdom. In 256 BC, Shu leader Li Bing built the Dujiangyan Irrigation System, channeling the Min River through Chengdu in what is still recognized as a triumph for hydraulic engineering. But the irrigation system was neglected and abused during the rapid industrial development of the 1970s, resulting in massive pollution and floods. Today, Chengdu's municipal government has succeeded in reversing the damage, turning what had become an urban nightmare into a model of modern day planning.

'Instructors interested in teaching about global issues such as water pollution and how they are experienced and addressed differently in various locales might be able to incorporate The Long March, as well as other episodes in the City Life series, into their curricula. The length of these videos makes it easy to show a complete program in one classroom session... In sum, The Long March offers an upbeat look at how the Chinese are dealing with environmental problems. This is a welcome message because there have been a number a recent successes in China and 'green' issues have become a much discussed topic on the Chinese political agenda.' Ken Klinker, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in AEMS News and Reviews


Main credits

Liu, John D. (film producer)
Liu, John D. (screenwriter)
Liu, John D. (film director)
Kerby, Adam (editor of moving image work)
Kyriacou, Sotira (editor of moving image work)
Gawin, Luke (film producer)
Atkins, Rachel (narrator)

Other credits

Editors, Adam Kerby, Sotira Kyriacou; music, The Definitive Break, Sischuan Traditional Music Academy; series producer, Luke Gawin.

Docuseek subjects

Distributor subjects

Asian Studies
Developing World
Global Issues
International Studies
Urban Studies
Urban and Regional Planning


China, Chengdu, irrigation, urban planning; "The Long March"; Bullfrog Films