Up the Yangtze

>> Saturday, July 19, 2008

I don't know much about the Three Gorges Dam being built in China. I've heard that it's controversial, huge and displacing millions of people. The film concentrates on the displacement of people and cultural and economic changes taking place.

Up the Yangtze centers around two kids: a nineteen-year-old boy and a sixteen-year-old girl. More focus is on the girl since she comes from a VERY poor family whose make-shift hut and fields are flooded. Both the boy and girl are employed by a cruise ship that goes up and down the Yangtze with tourists, many of whom are American.

My only quibble with the film is that I wished they would have given a brief overview of the Three Gorges Dam project--how far along it is, geographic region affected, etc. The film mentioned briefly one of the cities they focused on, but I didn't catch the name.

I saw it today so that I could catch the discussion group afterwards. I think I was the youngest person in the group by a couple of decades. (Clearly the only one who isn't retired or near retirement age.) We discussed the film about half the time and then digressed into discussing China itself. One gentleman was concerned whether China would become the next #1 economic superpower; he also didn't seem to realize that China currently has access to the internet, ironically. In the back of my mind, while everyone was discussing whether the U.S., China or India would be the future economic superpower, all I could think about is how peak oil is going to change things. Peak Oil! Peak Oil! Peak Oil!

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