Distributor:  Global Environmental Justice
Length:  78 minutes
Date:  2010
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English; Mandarin / English subtitles
Color/BW:  Color / Black and White
Closed captioning available

Curator

Ken Berthel, Assistant Professor of Chinese, Whittier College

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Waking the Green Tiger

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Seen through the eyes of activists, farmers, and journalists Waking the Green Tiger follows an extraordinary,unprecedented and successful campaign to stop a huge dam
project on the upper Yangtze river in the high mountains of southwestern China. 

Waking the Green Tiger

 

Curator
This film was chosen by Ken Berthel, Assistant Professor of Chinese, Whittier College

Why I selected this film
Waking the Green Tiger frames the unprecedented success of a grassroots environmental movement as a pivotal moment in the context of the detrimental environmental practices of the recent past, suggesting that this success might represent a foothold for a more burgeoning democratic movement. The film can serve as an excellent jumping-off point for a number of important topics, including environmental justice, political activism, Chinese environmental history, and the power of documentary filmmaking.

Marcuse’s film will appeal to educators who wish to focus on environmental justice, tensions between rising demands for energy and environmental protection, and the power of grassroots movements to effect unexpected outcomes in political contexts as challenging as the one in contemporary China. Waking the Green Tiger will be relevant for courses in environmental studies, Chinese cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, political science, law, and film, among others.

Teacher's guide    
Please see the guide for maps, background information and suggested subjects, questions and activities.

Synopsis
Seen through the eyes of activists, farmers, and journalists, Waking the Green Tiger follows an extraordinary campaign to stop a massive dam project on the Upper Yangtze River in southwestern China that would displace 100,000 people.

Featuring astonishing archival footage never seen outside China and interviews with witnesses and a government insider, the documentary also tells the history of Chairman Mao’s campaigns to conquer nature in the name of progress.

An environmental movement takes root when a new environmental law is passed, and for the first time in China’s history, ordinary citizens have the democratic right to speak out and take part in government decisions. Activists test this new freedom and save a river. The movement they trigger has the potential to transform China.

The environmental justice focus of the film
The film deals with questions of individual and local group agency over the environmental conditions in which they live, with reference to associated tensions that arise among farmers, non-governmental organizations,hydroelectric power profiteers, and government agencies.

Waking the Green Tiger is wonderful, an amazing story that opens an unexpected window onto China. - Ronald Wright, author of A Short History of Progress

…the perfect balance between information and entertainment, condensing several decades of history into a rousing portrait of China’s emerging green movement. — Brett Kessler, ABC 7.com



Awards

Awards

  • Ifeng Green China Film Award 2013 Grantham Prize 2012
  • Award of Merit for Environmental Journalism Cinema for Peace, Berlin
  • Finalist, International Green Film Award, Shanghai International Film Festival
  • Official Selection Planet in Focus
  • Best Canadian Feature Documentary Writer’s Guild of Canada, 2012 Canadian Screenwriting Awards
  • Best Documentary Spokane International FF Jury Award
  • Silver SpIFFy , Documentary Category
  • Rio de Janeiro filmambiente 2012 International Festival of Environmental Films Special Award for films about the importance of learning from mistakes and the power of society
  • Journalistic Relevance Award from the Brazilian Network of Environmental Journalists.
  • Colorado Environmental Film Festival
  • Best of Festival 2013 Vancouver International Film Festival
  • Audience Recognition: Top Ten Canadian Films Award Description
  • The Grantham Prize Honoring exceptional environmental journalism 2012 Award of Special Merit Recipients Gary Marcuse, Betsy Carson, & Shi Lihong

Citation

Main credits

Marcuse, Gary (film director)
Marcuse, Gary (film producer)
Marcuse, Gary (screenwriter)
Carson, Betsy (film producer)
Hewlett, David (narrator)

Other credits

Editor, Stuart De Jong; cinematographer, Rolf Cutts; composers, Henry Heillig, Doug Wilde; consultant, Judith Shapiro.


Distributor credits

Betsy Carson and Gary Marcuse

Gary Marcuse

Waking the Green Tiger
Directed by  Gary Marcuse
Produced by  Betsy Carson
Narrated by David Hewlett
inspired by “Mao’s War Against Nature”
By Judith Shapiro

TAIL CREDITS
Written and Directed by
GARY MARCUSE

Producers
BETSY CARSON
GARY MARCUSE

Editor
STUART DE JONG

Narrator
DAVID HEWLETT
 
Cinematographer
ROLF CUTTS

Composers
HENRY HEILLIG
DOUG WILDE
     
Consultant
JUDITH SHAPIRO

author of
Mao’s War Against Nature


Location Sound
GARY MARCUSE

Sound Supervisor /Mixer
EWAN DEANE

Production Management Services
LIXIN FAN PRODUCTIONS

Production Coordinator
SHI LIHONG

CARFTE Productions Services
XI WANCANG
     
Second Unit Direction
SHI LIHONG

Docuseek2 subjects

Gender Studies
Environmental Justice
Asian Studies
History
Anthropology and Archaeology
Politics and Political Science
Geography
Water
Rivers and Lakes
Asia
Energy
Government Policy
Communication and Media Studies
Journalism and the Press
Agriculture and Food
Manufacturing
Citizenship, Social Movements and Activism
Human Rights
Farming
Food
Global / International Studies
Film and Video Studies
Indigenous Studies
Biodiversity
Hydroelectric
Environmentalists
Habitat Destruction
Pollution
Resource Planning and Management
Ethics
Ecology
East Asia
Women's Studies
Environmental Geography
Religion and Spirituality
Endangered Species and Extinction

Distributor subjects

Activism
Animals and Animal Rights
Asian Studies
Biodiversity
China
Communication and Media Studies
Conflict Resolution
Democracy
Economics
ecosystem restoration
Ecosystems
Environmental Anthropology
Environmental Geography
Environmental History
Environmental Justice
Environmental Law
Ethics
Farming
Film and Video Studies
Food
Forestry
Forests
Gender Studies
Grasslands and Prairies
Habitat Loss
History
Human Rights
Human Rights Law
Indigenous Studies
Journalism
Manufacturing
Political Ecology
Pollution
Public Health
Religion
Revolution
Rivers
Solutions
Sustainability
Water
Wetlands
Women
Gender

Keywords

Women; Gender; Chairman Mao; MA Jun; SHI Lihong; YU Xiaogang; LIU Jianqiang; DENG Xiaoping; Kunming; Beijing; Yunnan; Shangri La; Lijiang; QU Geping; Great Leap Forward; Cultural Revolution; Kunming; Dianchi Lake; Loess Plateau; Ecosystem restoration; solar power; wind power; Jinshajiang; Upper Yangtze; Manwan Dam; Tiger Leaping Gorge dam; China Ministry of Environment; Environmental Law; Friends of Nature; LIANG Xiaoyan; golden monkeys; Judith Shapiro; "Mao's War Against Nature"; XI Zhinong; Wild China Films; WANG Yongchen; GE Quanxiao; XIAO Liangzhong; "Voice of an Angry River"; Gary Marcuse; Man Must Conquer Nature "Ren Ding Sheng Tian"; Face to Face Media; Nu River Valley; Yunnan Province; Mekong River Valley; Yangtze River Valley; Xiaoshaba Village; Tiger Leaping Gorge"Waking the Green Tiger"; Global Environmental Justice; women; gender;

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