Seen through the eyes of activists, farmers, and journalists, Waking…
Before the Flood II
These films were selected by Jason A. Carbine, C. Milo Connick Chair of Religious Studies Associate Professor Department of Religious Studies, Whittier College.
Why I selected these films
I chose these films in part because they resonate with other documentaries in this collection --Waking the Green Tiger, Dams, Drugs and Democracy, and Yindabad -- that examine environmental, social, and political issues related to hydroelectric power development and management, worldwide.
I also selected the films because they are particularly useful for any kind of interdisciplinary courses in Asian Studies and in other fields that examine the moral economies of water and water management, as seen from a different local and global perspectives, including comparative social ethics. These films provide an intimate and intense exploration of the tensions, fears, anxieties, and conflicts that arise when people are displaced for development purposes.
Please see the combined guide for both films for maps and background information and suggested subjects, questions and activities.
Synopsis Part II
Yan Yu follows his groundbreaking documentary Before the Flood with this profile of the residents of Gongtan, a 1700-year-old village. Gongtan, an historic village located on a tributary of the Yangtze, is about to be flooded by a dam project, forcing its residents to relocate. National imperatives displace local lives as authorities make decisions with little regard for village life. Ran Qingsong, a barber, and Ran Si, a cell-phone proprietor, rally the residents of Gongtan to stand against their impending displacement. But the will of the townspeople to save their land and homes soon wavers in the face of external pressure and internal suspicion.
Environmental Justice Focus
This film documents interrelations between environmental engineering and bureaucratic mismanagement, dehumanization, and displacement. Mr. Haiyu Xiang, a hostel owner, symbolizes the plight of many, as he and others struggle against the forces of large-scale water and power management in China.
Part I. The residents of the ancient Chinese cities of Fengjie clash with…