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Sunrise Over Tiananmen Square (1998)

An autobiography about the director's life, career and ultimate disillusionment with The People's Republic of China.


Shui-Bo Wang


Shui-Bo Wang
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Shui-Bo Wang Shui-Bo Wang ... Narrator


This film illustrates the life of the film director, Shui-Bo Wang in The People's Republic of China. We learn of the life of the director in his own words and images from a child steeped in the values of Chinese communism exemplified by Chairman Mao, to a young man striving to live up to those ideals both as an artist and a soldier. We also learn of his disillusionment with Chinese society and those same ideals, culminating in the horror of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

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Release Date:

16 October 1998 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Le jour se lève sur la place Tienanmen See more »

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User Reviews

Reality is what you convince yourself
25 October 2007 | by morbius82000See all my reviews

This was a weird film. THe main character's portrayal of life in Communist China since the revolution seems incredibly deluded. It seems to be an very glossed over view of history, almost as if his mind was brainwashed by the propaganda at the time. He blames the famine in the early 60's on the trade embargoes by various countries (the U.S., Russia, the UK) instead of the incompetence of the Chinese government in their disastrous quota system and the decision to get farmers to melt their tools in backyard furnaces to improve steel output (which ended up being useless anyway). He glosses over the disastrous effects of the cultural revolution. He pretends like life was perfect in China, there was no poverty or famine and that these evils only existed in capitalist countries. When the brutal truth of his government is presented to him during the Tiananmen square crack down in the early 90's, he complains that this wasn't the party that he knew. I kept expecting the narrator at some point to say "and then I realized everything I thought I knew had been wrong". But he never does, this is the reality that was presented to him as a youngster and at the time information was easier to control, and if you control the information you control the mind. Later on it is harder to hide the ugly side of communist China and when presented with it he somehow hints that the blame is on the reformists and the new bourgeoisie and not the government. Oh well, history and truth is whatever you believe it to be.

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