Directed by YAN Yu • Documentary • 2008 • 60 minutes
Yan Yu follows his groundbreaking documentary BEFORE THE FLOOD with this profile of the residents of Gongtan, a 1700-year-old village soon to be demolished by a hydroelectric dam project.
Gongtan, a historic village located on a tributary of the Yangtze, is about to be flooded by a dam project, forcing its residents to relocate. National imperatives displace local lives as authorities make decisions with little regard for village life. Ran Qingsong, a barber, and Ran Si, a cell-phone proprietor, rally the residents of Gongtan to stand against their impending displacement. But the will of the townspeople to save their land and homes soon wavers in the face of external pressure and internal suspicion.
Three years after BEFORE THE FLOOD generated global criticism towards the Three Gorges Dam Project, Yan Yu achieves intimate access again, this time to the Gongtan villagers as they protest official meetings and face off with construction workers eager to tear down their homes for a day's pay.