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About the Film

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Seen through the eyes of activists, farmers, and journalists, Waking the Green Tiger follows an extraordinary campaign to stop a massive dam project that would displace 100,000 people on the upper Yangtze river at Tiger Leaping Gorge in southwestern China. Featuring astonishing archival footage never seen outside China and interviews with a government insider and witnesses, the documentary also tells the history of Chairman Mao’s campaigns to conquer nature in the name of progress.

Reel NW Walking the Green Tiger

A green movement takes root when a new environmental law is passed. For the first time in China’s history ordinary citizens have the democratic right to participate in government decisions. Farmers and activists join forces to oppose the dam and save their valley. The movement they trigger has the potential to transform China. Activists and the former director of China’s Environmental Protection Agency, Qu Geping, conclude that environmental law and green democracy offer a model for the evolution of democracy in China.

About the Filmmaker

About the Filmmaker

Gary Marcuse is an independent writer, journalist and filmmaker based in Vancouver, Canada. With a background in fine arts and environmental planning, he first worked as a radio freelancer, creating more than 100 hours of radio documentaries for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation before turning to film and television. Waking the Green Tiger is the third in a series of documentaries commissioned by CBC for its long running series The Nature of Things which explore the emergence of environmental movements in North America (Nuclear Dynamite, 2000), Russia (Arktika, the Russian Dream that Failed, 2004) and now China. He has also been a programming executive for CBC Television (2004-2008) and is a former Chair of the Documentary Organization of Canada.

Waking the Green Tiger


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Like so many good documentaries out there, they are only available to libraries and schools, not at individual members of the public. Since many libraries don't actually carry this title, there is no way to view the film. Seems to be a waste to me...all that work, and very few people ever see it. I'd always thought documentaries were about affecting the social conscience and making the public aware of issues in the world around them? Guess the only thought for most of them is lack of access and profit...


We welcome any comments on Waking the Green Tiger
Gary Marcuse and Betsy Carson, Producer and director. Vancouver


Well done! I have watched it twice and enjoyed it more the second time.

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