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The Gate of Heavenly Peace
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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 index.

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. View film clips and images in the Media Library. Read the complete film transcript.

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.

Chinese Version
Chinese version

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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