100 million watch China’s 'inconvenient truth' on pollution
Dali Yang talks to Tom Phillips about a viral documentary on China’s environmental predicament.
China’s environment minister has vowed to confront an environmental challenge “unprecedented in human history” after an online film exposing the country’s pollution crisis went viral with more than 100 million hits in two days.
Chen Jining, a UK-educated academic who only took office last Friday, made the pledge following the release of “Under the Dome” a feature-length documentary by a celebrity journalist called Chai Jing.
Ms Chai’s film, which looks at the science and human faces behind China’s smog problem, is named after a Stephen King novel in which residents of a small American town find themselves trapped by a mysterious barrier that falls from the sky…
… Dali Yang, the director of the University of Chicago Centre in Beijing, compared the film to Al Gore’s Oscar-winning “An Inconvenient Truth” and predicted it would have a profound effect on Chinese society and politics.
“It is truly remarkable. It is a phenomenon,” he said. “Many people have realised there is a problem but she presents it in a way that is so relevant to each individual.”
“Under the Dome” takes viewers on a tour of China’s environmental hot spots, introducing a village in the country’s southwest that reputedly has the highest rate of lung cancer on earth and a city near the Russian border where buses are said to get lost because the smog is so thick…