Young And Restless In China

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What's your story? Have you done business in China, or traveled/lived there? Do the stories told in this film resonate with your experience of the new Chinese generation that is coming of age?

Dear FRONTLINE,

Young & Restless in China was a fabulous documentary that gives a window into the Chinese soul. What we discover is that the Chinese are so much like us. I was sad to see that they had bought into the myth of "The American Dream". I.E. The most important thing in life was to be rich and successful. The tragedy of this myth is that it bears no relationship to happiness. It turns out that this is an impossible dream. If everybody in the world achieves this two dimensional goal of material success we will inevitably end up trashing the planet and destroying the eco-system to such a point that nothing is left except toxic wast.

People in China need to know that they must strike a balance between the material success and the things that truly make us happy which is only achievable through a more sustainable way of life. So in addition to this revolution in material success they need to have a spiritual revolution and philosophical revolution. If they follow the West then they will wake up to realize that instead of achieving the American Dream they have followed us into the American Nightmare. The documentary showed that is already becoming apparent.

Richard Gordon
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Dear FRONTLINE,

It is a great film.

It touches on several aspects of real life stories in 21st century China, where traditional values and modern economic development collide. It may produce good economic prospects for most of the population, but at the same time to uphold the socialist systems the Chinese government needs to invest more to take care of the marginalized. Then this great counrty will truly become a sociaty of harmony, not only between people but also between man and nature.

Winnipeg, Manitoba,

Dear FRONTLINE,

Props to you Ben Wu! Your solar panel idea is great! We believe too that someday all people can be free of the chains of high energy costs. Where as we only dream of such a day you are actually working to make that dream a reality.

We wish you the best of luck and truly hope you succeed because it's guys like you who are gonna save our world.

Dave Wagoner
New Haven, CT

Dear FRONTLINE,

I really loved the music. I was especially interested in one of the very first pieces played in the episode about 8 minutes into the show. I looked on the PBS website to find this song's artist and title so I may buy the song, however, I was unable to find it. I am still very interested in the song and curious about its artist and title. If it is at all possible for you to release this information to me, I would greatly appreciate it. I think the show was fascinating and really opened my eyes to the changing culture in China. I had no idea how China's citizens could be pulled back and forth daily between two cultures --old and new. I think using real people from China as the characters in this Frontline episode was key to really demonstrating what life was like in China. Thanks for this chance to learn. I really enjoyed it. And thanks for any help you can give me with the song.

Anika Rieske
PIketon, Ohio

FRONTLINE's editors respond:

The song around 8 minutes into the film is "Ants" by Zhang Chu. Prior to that, at 7:37, is a song called "Garden of Eden" by the band P.K. 14. This song recurs throughout the film. And following "Ants," at 11:37, is a song by Cui Jian entitled "Wild on the Snow."

You can listen to "Garden of Eden" on the LISTEN TO THE MUSIC page of our web site, where you'll also find information (at the bottom of the page) on Cui Jian.

Dear FRONTLINE,

We have been enjoying Frontline for years- always doing our best to carve out time for Tuesday night Frontline. This episode "Young and Restless in China" was absolutely the best Frontline we have seen.

The parallels with the US are uncanny and alarming. Heart wrenching. Poignant.Thank you.

Can you do one on India?

T Donahoo
ashland, Oregon

Dear FRONTLINE,

My wife and I visited China several years ago (we were actually in Beijing when they found out that they had won the right to have the Olympics there in 2008).

It seemed to us at the time that China was where the US was back in the 30's... in the sense of uncontrolled industrialization creating polluted cities (like our old Pittsburgh). They need to realize that there needs to be rules and building codes (which they probably will begin after the devastating earthquake of late).

Bribery will have to go... no one will have faith in the inspectors if they are bribed!

I feel fortunate to have visited China when we did. We did return to the Guilin region two years ago... it is truly the most beautiful area... largely untouched beauty.

Xie xie

Barry Hart
Concord, California

Dear FRONTLINE,

I was so moved by this piece. Thank you.

(Please do not post my last name or email address)

Tempe, AZ

Dear FRONTLINE,

It is a great film. It touches on several aspects of real life stories in 21st century China, where traditional values and modern economic development collide. It may produce good economic prospects for most of the population, but at the same time to uphold the socialist systems the Chinese government needs to invest more to take care of the marginalized. Then this great counrty will truly become a sociaty of harmony, not only between people but also between man and nature.

Winnipeg, Manitoba,

Dear FRONTLINE,

the stories profiled and shared in this program are universal and yet unique and very personal. the self sacrifice, the caring for family, of working towards a better future. all under very difficult circumstances. when thinking of china, we often think of 1.3 billion people. a number. but it's much more than just a number. it's a country rich in traditon, struggling with growing pains and all that goes along with it. thanks for sharing their hopes and dreams and sacrifiices and hardships as they grow into tomorrow's leaders.

hugh woo
toledo, OH

Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful program. My family attended the Special Olympics World Games in Shanghai in October 2007 and came home with the desire to know China's people better. During our brief stay in Shanghai we befriended a 16 year old boy who was volunteering for the games. We are now "penpals" with him and also with the waitress we met. Our emails have not only opened a new world for us but also enabled them a realistic look into our culture. Through our correspondence our waitress friend learned that we don't lead a "garden life." However, we are still mindful of censorship so we are careful about what we write about. Someday, we'd like to return and see how our young friends and China have progressed. Thank you for a fascinating program!

Gail Meister
St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin

home . introduction . watch online . nine stories . where's china headed? . "I wanted music to play a big part in the film" .  listen to the music . join the discussion . teacher's guide . live chat with producer sue williams . site map . dvd + transcript . press reaction . credits . privacy policy . journalistic guidelines . FRONTLINE series home . wgbh . pbs

posted june 17, 2008

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