THE GATE OF HEAVENLY PEACE is a documentary about the protests at Tiananmen in
1989, and the resulting Beijing Massacre of June 4. The film explores the history
of the demonstrations and comments on the "deep structure" of political habits
and attitudes that have informed public life in China over the past century. The
filmmakers present a wide range of Chinese perspectives on a defining moment in
China's modern history.
In addition to information about the film, this
website includes articles, essays, and book excerpts, containing analysis and
interpretation of the 1989 protests. Original source documents, video and audio
clips, posters, photographs, and artwork are also available. For a complete list
of the readings on this site, see the
Find out more about the people in the film and
other key characters involved in the 1989 protests. Read about the making of the film, and
follow the debates and
controversy that exploded into the U.S.
and international media six months before the film was even completed.
clips and images in the Media Library. Read the complete
Tiananmen Square is a "theme park" of the Chinese Revolution and
20th-century Chinese history. Become a virtual revolutionary tourist and
do the sights.
In 1978-79, thousands of people in Beijing posted their complaints and protests
on a stretch of blank wall, called "Democracy Wall," to the west
of Tiananmen Square. Find out more about "Democracy Wall," or post your
own comments about this website or "The Gate of Heavenly Peace."
Delve into background themes of the film, including: Democracy, Reform
and Revolution, Human Rights, and the Media.
Trace the chronology of key events in 20th-century Chinese history, and
in the Beijing Spring of 1989.
Find listings of related books, articles and other web sites of interest.
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New Content Copyright © 1998 PBS Online and WGBH/FRONTLINE
The Gate of Heavenly Peace
In the spring of 1989, students and workers occupied Beijing's Tiananmen Square and the world watched as China struggled with this wrenching upheaval in the name of democracy. 'The Gate of Heavenly Peace' documents the history of China's Protest Movement, providing context to the history and political attitudes which shaped the development of the movement, and reveals how moderates among student protesters and within the government were silenced by extremist factions. In its first television broadcast, the film reflects five years of meticulous research and interviews to construct the most complete and accurate account to date of the complex political process that eventually led to the Beijing Massacre on June 4.
published june 1996