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.
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
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.