Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Follow-up for the Tank Man documentary PART II

Your London correspondent met with the girl that Abby mentioned in the earlier post last evening, together with another friend of us, who is indeed a FACES2007 alumnus. We had a nice chat over Chinese politics and legal philosophy for the whole evening (despite all of us are now $-minded corporate lawyers, haha).

We think that Beida students know 64, although it is doubtless that people have diverse opinion on the incident. But we generally agree that students outside Beida know much less about 64.

Back to that documentary, your correspondent learnt that the 4 interviewees did already know what that picture means. But as they were alert of its sensitivity (and they were told that they could just say "I don't know" if they did not want to answer), they whispered to each other (as seen in the documentary) before responding to the interviewer. This created a sense in front of the camera that they knew nothing and looked ignorant.

Your correspondent has a few extended questions after the chat, and would like to invite you to think.

1) The producer of the documentary clearly wanted to portrait current Chinese youth as ignorant about Chinese past history. Should that justify him for manipulating the documentary?

2) Chinese says American media (e.g. CNN, BBC) are biased (at least when reporting China-related stories). While at the same that American says Chinese media are biased (e.g. People's Daily), and Chinese are "brainwashed" by the meida. How should we view the "independence" of media? And how should/can we bridge the gap between people who read such different newspapers?

Michael @ (Sunny!) London

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