HBO: China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province

HBO will broadcast a documentary about parents who lost children in the 2009 Sichuan earthquake:

At Hanwang Primary School, 317 students died. Standing amidst the ruins, a father still hasn’t found his daughter: “After ten days I haven’t seen her face.” Another man explains that local leaders said “we weren’t hit hard, we can handle ourselves.” Young voices that cried out from under slabs of concrete are silent now, as heavy machinery tread lightly on the ruins to avoid dismembering bodies. Back at Fuxin, parents remember hearing how the buildings were unsafe, but nothing was done. “Who inspected and built the building?” asks one. “Where is the government?” In a field behind their home, the parents of a victim show pictures of their son, and visit the mound of soil where they were forced to bury him. “We want justice to prevent future tragedies,” says the mother. “This is a lesson of blood.” Even more children – 438 – died at Xinjian Primary School. A woman shows off a class photo with some 30 or 40 students. All but one student and the teacher died. Parents here rail about the school building’s “shoddy construction,” complaining that the mortar and concrete did not meet standards. Likewise, in Hongbai Schools, where 430 children died, questions about the quality of building construction are raised over the sound of sobs. China has a strict one-child policy, and most of these parents lost their only child.

See a schedule of showtimes.

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