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A luxury cruise boat motors up the Yangtze - navigating the mythic waterway known in China simply as "The River." The Yangtze is about to be transformed by the biggest hydroelectric dam in history. At the river's edge - a young woman says goodbye to her family as the floodwaters rise towards their small homestead. The Three Gorges Dam - contested symbol of the Chinese economic miracle - provides the epic backdrop for Up the Yangtze, a dramatic feature documentary on life inside modern China. Written by
National Film Board of Canada
I would consider this to be a perfect documentary for its technique and narration.
The movie's account of the massive three-gorges project is quite detailed. But without letting viewers loose attention to its subject, the movie takes us through the history of China, the paradoxes of its "modern" path of development and even the myths and goddesses associated with the river. The movie aptly exposes and questions the "tourist" nature of our own interests in the vast orient unveiled to us. The satire in the film (which may not be all non-fictional) is sharp and quite funny. Overall, the story telling is so fluid that it may feel to be a fictional account altogether.
Like any other documentary this is a movie replete with the accounts of lives of the people associated with the project. However this movie accomplishes much more by reevaluating our own ideas of economic development; by showing us the two sides of it fulfillment of a dream of progress and loss of an environment that constitutes the being.
Lastly, owing not just to the country of landscapic beauty that china is, there are some captivating shots in the movie that stay in memory long after the movie is over.
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