UK Oscar-winner reveals the strong will of ordinary Chinese in new documentary series
Published: Jul 14, 2021 06:48 PM
Photo: Courtesy of Tencent

Photo: Courtesy of Tencent

The documentary series A Long Cherished Dream directed by UK filmmaker Malcolm Clarke, winner of an Academy Award for Best Documentary, will be released worldwide on Thursday. The work reveals stories of ordinary Chinese fighting for their happiness and a xiaokang society, or a moderately prosperous society, for the whole country.

The show will be aired on several channels and streaming platforms around the globe including China Central Television (CCTV) and Tencent Video in China and Discovery and Sky TV in the UK, a representative of the China Review Studio, which helped produce the documentary, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The documentary focuses on ordinary people such as an official in a village, a truck driver and an acrobat. Showing  their virtues such as confidence and kindness, their individual stories are pooled together to tell the story of China's development.

The premiere of the documentary series was held on Tuesday in Beijing's Dongcheng district, and was attended by Clarke and Vikram Channa, vice president of US Discovery Communications.

The director explained that each person in the documentary experienced poverty, but their fortunes have changed dramatically along with China's rapid economic boom and that today's xiaokang society offers a chance for people at the bottom of Chinese society to really have  all the possible futures they and their families could never have imagined before.

When interviewed by CCTV at the premiere, Clarke said that China's rise is huge and significant, but only a few Westerners are willing to present China's stories to Western audiences.

Channa said that the documentary is moving and fascinating because it consistently tells stories from the point of view of its protagonists, and the journeys of these ordinary people in real life will be able to resonate with audiences around the world.

Channa added that he thinks that these people are the core of China's achievements and that their hard work in building the country. 

According to a press release, the four-episode series follows four people who work in different industries.

The first episode introduces Chang Kaiyong, a village secretary serving in a poverty-stricken mountainous area in Southwest China's Yunnan Province. As a China's grassroots official, he has to relay and execute policies passed down all the way from the top and bear the brunt of the villagers' complaints and conflicts.

Zhang Lin (right) Photo: Courtesy of Tencent

Zhang Lin (right) Photo: Courtesy of Tencent

 The second and the last episode both focus on workers in the delivery industry, but the second's theme focuses on the struggles of women while the other one narrows on what it is like to return to a small village to start a business and help local development.

Barely 1.5 meters tall, Zhang Lin is a young woman who drives a 10-meter-long truck every day. Her episode shows her persistence and struggle as she travels all the way from a poor mountain village to the big city.  

The last episode's story centers around three people who were born in the impoverished mountain region along the Fuchun River in East China's Zhejiang Province. Although their hometown was once nearly abandoned by young people, it is now regarded as the cradle of China's private express delivery industry.    

Wang Huaifu Photo: Courtesy of Tencent

Wang Huaifu Photo: Courtesy of Tencent

 The third episode is about Wang Huaifu, an acrobat from China's hometown of acrobatics in Central China's Henan Province. At the age of 35 and about to retire, he takes on a new challenge: playing the lead role in the new acrobatic historical show Dawn of Shanghai.