Thursday, April 23, 2009

Follow-up for the Tank Man documentary

Thanks for Wilson's last entry, I totally enjoy it:)

Remember the Tank Man? Ok, I mentioned to some of you that 2 out of 4 Chinese students who appeared in that documentary are actually my friends:) Many of us including me doubted whetheter they were telling the truth when they said that they had no idea what the photo was about. So one of my friends replied to me, and here is the direct response from her:

"I bet the four of us looks sooo stupid...esp by saying that we didn't even know what the photo was about~~~the story is that:

1. the producer didn't tell the truth, he said thathe came to China to film about China's development and he actually asked lots of other questions but the bit in the documentary seemed to be the only part that was used in the end. He should have told us honestly about his true purpose in the first place (but understandably, if he said so, he may be denied the chance of talking to us in the first place by the school~~ but still, this is not a decent way to obtain info!)

2. We were told by the school shortly before the interview that we do not need to answer/ just say do not know if any questions reagarding ** arise (and so we did...)

3. As a personal defence, that was indeed my first time seeing that picture and I have never ever heard of that story before, had it not been the reminder of my fellow interviewees, it would take me some time to realize that this has sth to do with the event.

4. I think the producer just used us to make his point that Chinese young generation is no longer interested in politics and ingnorant about the country's very near past although I bet that he knew that we cannot be sooo ingnorant as to not be able to recognize what all this is about, but also that we would not tell him what we actually know (otherwise he didn't need to hide his true intention and ask so many other irrelevant questions). Again, not decent as he is just telling the audience what he thinks, rather than providing objective evidences and let the audience to decide for themselves, but nontheless, probably that is how journalism works??!

5. My parents saw itas well and they didn't think the documentary was wholly true, there seem to be some obvious errors regarding the sequence of events and timing etc."

I really appreciate my friend's response, and I hope you find it helpful.
As for the documentary itself, I appreciate its effort of drawing attention to China's democracy and human rights concerns. However, I certainly did not agree with the biasd perspective that the producer brought up in it. If a documentary loses its neutral standing point, I would rather call it movie.

Miss and love you all,
Abby 扶阳
Washington DC, USA.


  1. wow really interesting
    thanks for sharing your friend's response

  2. In case you guys wanted to review the documentary, it is hosted online:

    (At our screening, we kind of skipped the two sections where the documentary talked about the post-1989 era, where the CCP has reached a tacit agreement with the populace, on the promise of economic growth in exchange for staying quiet on political matters.)