The overall documentary is made up of 12 episodes starting with "Remembering," which implied that the "Chinese Cultural Revolution" of 1966 - 1972 or so was past, regretted, and disowned. ... See full summary »
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1   Unknown  
1985   Unknown  
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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The overall documentary is made up of 12 episodes starting with "Remembering," which implied that the "Chinese Cultural Revolution" of 1966 - 1972 or so was past, regretted, and disowned. The final episode titled "Trading" is all about the "new China" and it's role in the go-getter world of business, including USA business. These two episodes communicated the main messages for which the series was intended, told the story of "the new China." The middle episodes depict day to day life amongst "little guy" Chinese people, and creates a sympathetic picture of their charm, intelligence, humanity, creativity, and day to day problems and challenges. Written by David Allen

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1985 (USA)  »

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This is one of the very best documentaries ever made. Why no DVD available in 2015?
2 November 2013 | by (Columbia (Lancaster County) Pennsylvania, USA) – See all my reviews

This is one of the very best documentaries ever made.

The fact the series got no major awards and also, almost 30 years later, is not available for sale in the DVD format is astonishing.

If you know of a DVD version for sale in 2015 or later, please let me know by emailing me at DavidRogerAllen@Hotmail.Com. Thanks.

I provide the titles of the 12 episodes (I own all of them in VHS cassette format):

1. Remembering 2. Caring 3. Eating 4. Believing 5. Correcting 6. Working 7. Living 8. Marrying 9. Understanding 10. Mediating 11. Creating 12. Trading

The excellent twelve part series was provided free of charge to USA public libraries in the middle 1980's along with other famous and edifying cultural documentaries such as America (1972) narrated by Alistair Cooke, and CIVILISATION (1968) narrated by Lord Kenneth Clark.

Various USA based big money charitable foundations were credited with gifting the HEART OF THE DRAGON (1985) series to public libraries.

The HEART OF THE DRAGON (1985) series is, to my thinking, obviously a major propaganda effort to reverse the anti-Chinese image on USA media which demonized the country and it's culture (and Marxist ideology) so that USA citizens would accept the new economic and (benign) political role of "modern China," which role is disconnected from the China governed by Chairman Mao from 1949 to his death in 1976.

By that time (1976), the "Chinese Cultural Revolution" he started in 1966 had failed, and new leaders came to power, visited the USA and charmed the public using devices such as wearing USA cowboy hats, etc. etc.

The 12 episodes started with "Remembering," which implied that the "Chinese Cultural Revolution" of 1966 - 1972 or so was past, regretted, and disowned.

The final episode titled "Trading" is all about the "new China" and it's role in the go-getter world of business, including USA business.

These two episodes communicated the main messages for which the series was intended, told the story of "the new China."

The middle episodes depict day to day life amongst "little guy" Chinese people, and creates a sympathetic picture of their charm, intelligence, humanity, creativity, and day to day problems and challenges.

It was all very well and skillfully done, with particular efforts to present the whole picture of "people in China" in a diplomatic way intended to end hostility which previous "anti-Chinese" USA and western media had used since the rise of Mao in 1949 up to 1972 when USA President Richard M. Nixon's surprise personal visit to China occurred (for the purpose of announcing to the world that the USA leaders and China leaders had agreed to begin a new era of friendship and cooperation unknown in modern times up to 1972).

Since 1985, when the HEART OF THE DRAGON (1985) documentary series was aired on USA Public Television (PBS) stations nationally in the USA, and then placed in public libraries in VHS video cassette form for the next 10 years at least, China has grown in prosperity, importance, and political and economic power in the world, and in the life of the USA.

9 of the 20 largest world "skyscraper" buildings are now in China (4 more are in the Middle East in the United Arab Emerates capital of Abbu Dabbi), and the Empire State Building in New York City, NY USA (which for decades was ranked "the world's tallest building") isn't even on the list of the "20 tallest buildings in the world" (see the WORLD ALMANAC AND BOOK OF FACTS for the current list).

Since Nixon's 1972 visit to China, a huge portion of USA manufacturing centers have been removed "offshore" to foreign countries like China where labor is cheaper and USA Unions have no say or power regarding treatment and compensation of workers.

China's current enormous wealth is largely the result of newly arrived (since 1972) USA money. Large USA retail outlets like WalMart and KMart are currently (2015) purchasing sales locations for Chinese manufactured goods.

The power of China has grown enormously since 1972, and the HEART OF THE DRAGON (1985) was a building block in communicating sympathetic news about China to USA, UK, and other previously hostile groups who had decried the existence and threat of "Communist (or 'Red') China" in the years from 1949 to 1972.

This is all food for thought.

THE HEART OF THE DRAGON (1985) TV documentary was exceedingly well and expensively made propaganda media effort aimed at reversing western opinions about China and the USA's relationship with China.

It was a slick sales piece, and it is worth seeing and re-seeing for many reasons.

It is possible to obtain the used VHS cassettes given to USA public libraries, now sold in the "used video" market on Amazon.Com and other vendors.

It is helpful to know and use the episode names of the twelve parts of the show, and also to include the name of the narrator "Anthony Quayle," when making search efforts.

The HEART OF THE DRAGON name has been given to other media products, and the documentary series episodes for sale and worth buying can get lost if one is not careful to distinguish the documentary from non-documentary shows about China or shows which use the same title.

-------------------------

Tex Allen is a retired (2014) SAG union Middle Atlantic States USA movie actor, film scholar, and movie history teacher.

Email: TexAllen@Rocketmail.Com.


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