Zhang Yuan's defiant response to finding his name on a government blacklist was to shoot this 'illegal' documentary in and about Tiananmen Square - not only the most public space in Beijing, but also the symbolic heart of Communist China. Observing without comment, the film sees the activities in the square as a microcosm of the state. It builds up a convincing analysis of China's political and social economy simply by watching the way the square is policed, patrolled and used by both the authorities and the public; it also poses some trenchant questions about China's future by showing the 'Little Emperors' who are the product of the country's single-child policy. No politics, of course, but the absence of references to 1989 speaks loudly enough.
Zhang Yuan, Duan Jinchuan
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