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Home » Culture and Criticism

China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province

Submitted by on February 5, 2010 – 10:20 AM3 Comments

About what you'd expect, structurally, and the end feels a bit abrupt — although I suppose that, once the Chinese government decides it doesn't care to deal with an issue, that's that.

The first half is quite affecting, though, in particular the things the parents say when they visit the graves of their children."Little baby, you must give your mom strength.""If you want anything, come into our dreams."So sweet and direct and unbearably awful.

Death Race 52, Sarah 6

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  • Jenno says:

    I saw this on HBO, and it made me so freakin' angry. America may not be perfect, but when disasters happen, we try to figure out why and we lay the blame where it belongs. And then we try to do better. Since Hurricane Andrew, new houses in Florida all have roof straps. Just this week the final report came out on the Buffalo plane crash, and it was pure pilot error, but the airlines were told they could do better with pilot training and fatigue prevention.

    The China that this documentary shows is far more concerned with politicians saving face than it is with people's safety. Between this and melamine-laced formula and baby-stealing while officials look the other way, I am appalled at China's failure to protect its citizens, especially children. Of which you get to have just one. And if that one dies in a school built of oatmeal, you're SOL, and they don't want you crying in public over it. Heartless bastards. Although I'm sure there are lots of other nice things about China, honesty and accountability are not valued at all, because someone might be made to look bad, as if that were a tragedy and the needless death of thousands of schoolkids is not.

  • Margaret in CO says:

    I couldn't even watch the first half – two minutes in & I was bawling my eyes out. I wish them all a good journey, too, little one.

  • Michael says:

    Having recently seen the 1970 Oscar nominated documentary, "King: A Filmed Record…Montgomery to Memphis", I was surprised at how much the Chinese march to the district capital reminded me of the Selma to Montgomery marches of the U.S. civil rights movement. The Chinese police response to the march being significantly less violent than the Alabama police, but the protestors in both marches were very similar in their resolve not to get into any physical confrontation. When the Chinese regional official stood in their way, they just went around him (other than some inadvertent shoving as the protesters bottlenecked to get past him).

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