Up the Yangtze Documentary
A new documentary called Up the Yangtze follows the lives of both tourists traveling along the Yangtze and the workers who serve them. It is being shown at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. From an interview with the director Yung Chang:
The idea was born in 2002, when I went on one of the so-called Farewell cruises along the Yangtze with my parents and grandfather. The aim is to offer tourists the chance to visit the area before it is flooded by the Three Gorges Dam. It’s very surreal…
The whole sensory experience was overwhelming. The moment you get off the bus, you’re surrounded by coolies carrying these heavy loads – tourists’ luggage. So I got this idea of making a movie about tourists on this Yangtze cruise boat – a kind of Gosford Park idea that shows the social hierarchy, the lives above and below the decks. And I realized that the people working on the boat were all from the Yangtze area, and that many of their families were affected by the dam. [Full text]
See a trailer for the film via YouTube:
and an interview with Yung Chang:
Read also a review of the film from Variety.