February 14, 2008
Probe International Fellow Dai Qing lauds Canadian documentary Up the Yangtze for revealing the human cost of the Three Gorges dam.
While we in the big cities of China enjoy the bright lights and all the conveniences that modern technology and electricity bring us, do we know and think about how many people have left their homes for our comfort?
I have met people forcibly resettled by the Three Gorges dam almost everywhere in China. Maybe some of them are even among the poor illegal immigrants in your country – wearing the “forced smile” that you see among the staff on the boat in Yung Chang’s film.
Few of them know that a good man has made a film about them. And none of them could ever know that more and more people will express their concern after watching the film.
We critics in China have argued from the beginning that the government’s estimate of 750,000 people to be displaced by the dam was too low, that it would be closer to 1.9 million. Now, the dam is built and the government has just announced that, in all, 4 million will have to move. The government claims these people are happy and that a good life awaits them after they move. I don’t believe it.
My colleagues and I at Probe International continue to collect the truth, as told by the people themselves, and publish it, as Yung Chang has done so compellingly with his film, Up the Yangtze. Our thanks go to him.
Categories: Articles by Dai Qing