Not for the faint of heart or weak of bladder, Wang Bing’s two-and-a-half-hour “Three Sisters” documents extreme poverty in rural China with the compassionate eye and inexhaustible patience of a director whose curiosity about his country’s unfortunates never seems to wane.
Filming for six months in a remote hillside village in 2010, Mr. Wang follows the spirit-crushing lives of a short-tempered peasant and his three little daughters….
“Three Sisters” makes its point in lice-infested hovels and with the bleeding feet of endlessly coughing children. A communal meal at a great-uncle’s house reveals village elders sniffing at the government’s proposed “rural revival,” knowing that it really means extra land fees for already strapped peasants. Clearly, the country’s economic boom is not trickling down, leaving them frozen in a way of life as ancient as the ground beneath their feet.
From The Times’ review (a Critics’ Pick) of Three Sisters (no relation to Chekhov’s), a documentary opening today in the States.
Not sure I can stomach this one, but it sounds eye-opening, for sure.
Can the NFL plant its flag in China?
When superhero film “Iron Man 3” makes its Chinese debut, it will include top Chinese actress Fan Bingbing and some footage shot inside China - additions aimed at tapping into the country’s lucrative and booming cinema market….
Ben Kingsley plays the “Mandarin”, a half-Chinese villain - the kind of thing that could be a red flag for censors. In the Chinese version, however, the name is translated as “Man Daren”, removing the overtly Chinese connotation.
Chinese ship runs into protected UNESCO reef in Philippines — while transporting 11 tons of illegal Pangolin meat
A Chinese vessel that ran into a protected coral reef in the southwestern Philippines held evidence of even more environmental destruction inside: more than 22,000 pounds of meat from a protected species, the pangolin or scaly anteater.
The steel-hulled vessel hit an atoll on April 8 at the Tubbataha National Marine Park, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site on Palawan island.
Coast guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Armand Balilo said Monday that 400 boxes, each containing 25 to 30 kilograms of frozen pangolins, were discovered during a second inspection of the boat Saturday.
The World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines said the Chinese vessel F/N Min Long Yu could have been carrying up to 2,000 of the toothless, insect-eating animals rolled up in the boxes, with their scales already removed.
The boat’s 12 Chinese crewmen are being detained on charges of poaching and attempted bribery, said Adelina Villena, the marine park’s lawyer. She said more charges are being prepared against them, including damaging the corals and violating the country’s wildlife law for being found in possession of the pangolin meat.
Here’s a NatGeo video of the endangered pangolin.
I’m not even gonna comment on this one.
The Chinese reaction to [Jon Stewart] ranges from bewilderment—his Peter Dinklage reference in a joke about Kim Jong-un’s height may have lost something in the translation—to envy. His homage this week to his Chinese viewers sparked a discussion of its own. “I hope everybody sees this. Don’t mistake it for just a comedy show,” wrote one person on Weibo, the micro-blogging site. “When will China have its own Jon Stewart?” asked another.
[Here is the “Big Ratings in Giant China” segment from The Daily Show.]
The corruption, income inequality and environmental degradation that have accompanied China’s breakneck economic development over the last 30 years have provoked social unrest. In 2010, China had 180,000 “mass incidents,” the official euphemism for protests — a fourfold increase over the previous decade. Methods of social control that once worked like charms are now losing their efficacy. So the Central Party School and its provincial subsidiaries, which train China’s leaders, are revamping curriculums. Each year they send student-officials to Harvard to study Western management.
But they are often finding that it’s the old feudal customs, so repugnant to Mao, that help them keep a grip on society.
Life for the almighty Chinese government official has come to this: car pools, domestically made wristwatches and self-serve lunch buffets.
In the four months since he was anointed China’s paramount leader and tastemaker-in-chief, President Xi Jinping has imposed a form of austerity on the nation’s famously free-spending civil servants, military brass and provincial party bosses.
The cost of environmental degradation in China in 2010 was about $230 billion, or 3.5 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, an official Chinese news report said this week….
The estimated loss for that year was three times that for 2004, in local currency terms. The $230 billion figure, or 1.54 trillion renminbi, is based on costs rising from pollution and damage to the ecosystem, but the figure was incomplete because the researchers did not have a complete set of data.