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Screening of "The Gate of Heavenly Peace" - Tiananmen Square, 20 Years On

THE GATE OF HEAVENLY PEACE

[GATEO] Vancity Theatre Screenings
USA, 1995, 180 min, Digibeta
Directed By: Richard Gordon,
Carma Hinton Tiananmen Square: 20 Years On For three electrifying days in June 1989, Chinese student activists and a broad-based group of supporters intent on democratic reforms galvanized the world with their bold occupation of Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing. The government’s bloody crackdown, the often valiant resistance by rebellious students—like the lone man who faced down a column of army tanks, his image beamed worldwide over live television by the Western news media—and the subsequent detention of thousands of political prisoners that followed in the wake of the demonstrations all drew a sharp response from human rights activists. Yet few in the West know about the complex dynamics that surrounded this landmark event. Ethnographic filmmakers Richard Gordon and Carma Hinton have gathered extraordinary footage and conducted extensive interviews with key figures in the democratic movement to detail the activities before, during and after the failed rebellion, including the bungling and miscalculations on both sides. In the process, they have created an epic account of the events and avoided the “democracy movement good, government bad” analysis that has tarnished some other documentaries about the topic. Rather, Gordon and Hinton make a forceful argument for moderation, harshly judging radicals and reactionaries alike in a manner that echoes the fallacies of the New Left stateside during the ’60s. The film delivers a profound message that resonates in a world caught increasingly in the throes of divisive political and cultural affairs. — Notes from the San Francisco Film Festival's History Site RELATED LINKS
View Excerpts

Tour Tiananmen Square

Additional Readings about the events at Tiananmen Square


REVIEWS
“Epic, complex, and devastating… It may be definitive.” — Village Voice

“The most impartial and illuminating account we will ever have of what happened in and around Tiananmen Square in the spring of 1989. Every word and image yields maximum clarity.” — Tony Rayns, Moving Pictures International

“This film is likely to revise the very terms of your understanding of the pivotal events it considers.” — Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

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  • Jojo

    Great documentary!

    June 5, 2009

7 went

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