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Film Discussion Guide

Download the discussion guide for the documentary Up the Yangtze and use it for facilitating conversation about this film at home, in the classroom or at community screenings.

This guide is an invitation to dialogue. It is based on a belief in the power of human connection, designed for people who want to use this documentary to engage family, friends, classmates, colleagues and communities. In contrast to initiatives that foster debates in which participants try to convince others that they are right, this document envisions conversations undertaken in a spirit of openness in which people try to understand one another and expand their thinking by sharing viewpoints and listening actively. The discussion prompts are intentionally crafted to help a wide range of audiences think more deeply about the issues in the film. Rather than attempting to address them all, choose one or two that best meet your needs and interests. And be sure to leave time to consider taking action. Planning next steps can help people leave the room feeling energized and optimistic, even in instances when conversations have been difficult.

Download the discussion guide for Up the Yangtze:

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Film Information

Up the Yangtze (90 min.)

Premiere Date: October 8, 2008

Photos: Download Here

Trailer: Link

Filmmaker: Yung Chang Bio | Interview | Statement

Press: Critical Acclaim | Press Release


Yung Chang
Yung Chang

[I wanted to make] a movie about tourists on this Yangtze cruise boat — a kind of 'Gosford Park' idea that shows the social hierarchy, the lives above and below the decks. I realized that the people working on the boat were all from the Yangtze area and that many of their families were affected by the dam.”

— Yung Chang, Filmmaker


Film Update

Critical Acclaim

An astonishing documentary of culture clash and the erasure of history amid China's economic miracle.”

— Stephen Holden,
The New York Times

The construction of China's massive Three Gorges Dam has forced . . . a human upheaval almost too gigantic to conceive. Yet filmmaker Yung Chang finds a . . . beautiful way to glimpse the big picture of dislocation through an exquisitely poised small study. Grade: A”

— Lisa Schwartzbaum,
Entertainment Weekly

Up the Yangtze blends this empathy with its subjects with a striking visual quality, haunting images that show both the beauty and uncertainty of this pivotal time.”

— Kenneth Turan,
Los Angeles Times

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