In this June 5, 1989 file photo, a Chinese man stands alone to block a line of tanks heading east on Beijing's Changan Blvd. from Tiananmen Square in Beijing. A quarter century after the Communist Party's attack on demonstrations centered on Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, the ruling party prohibits public discussion and 1989 is banned from textbooks and Chinese websites. (AP Photo/Jeff Widener, File)

The Tank Man

April 11, 2006 / 1h 24m

Season 2006: Episode 10

Produced by:

Photo: (AP Photo/Jeff Widener)


On June 5, 1989, one day after Chinese troops expelled thousands of demonstrators from Tiananmen Square in Beijing, a solitary, unarmed protester stood his ground before a column of tanks advancing down the Avenue of Eternal Peace. Captured by Western photographers watching nearby, this extraordinary confrontation became an icon of the fight for freedom around the world. FRONTLINE investigates the mystery of the tank man — his identity, his fate, and his significance for the Chinese leadership. [Explore more stories on the original website for The Tank Man.]