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press reaction

+ Houston ChronicleAnn Hodges

"Frontline's fascinating view of a changing China is worth the four years it took to get it. ...

"The TV crew was allowed astonishing access, and no one seems afraid to speak out. As filming wound down, however, fewer people were willing to open up. ...

"The changes so far have left most we meet here fearful, disillusioned and poorer. More happy endings may be yet to come, but for now, this unique Frontline enterprise is a valuable, candid view of a China we seldom see -- China in economic shakeout."

+ The Hartford CourantRoger Catlin

"Again tonight, 'Frontline' shows its insight and depth with a report on the new China.

"Changes in China's economy mean that the state-owned factories that provided jobs for a half-century now put a priority on profits instead of people, resulting in massive layoffs and job instability. Along with the people trying to eke out a living without the previous support, the focus of the two-hour documentary also falls on entrepreneurs who have taken advantage of new freedoms and on the resulting wealth and corruption in the still-ruling Communist Party. ..."

+ PeopleTerry Kelleher

"[T]his worthwhile two-hour documentary, which follows 10 Chinese citizens between 1998 and 2001, shows the pain as well as the gains resulting from the country's transition to a market economy. ...

"Getting to know these people means listening to them talk of workaday matters, and that can be less than exciting. We're left hungry for harder information on a can-do politician's downfall. ... Still, this valuable report reveals much."

+ Boston GlobeSam Allis

"'China in the Red' starts off as an utterly predictable look at the mayhem caused by the Chinese economic reforms that began in 1998. What distinguishes it from a herd of other earnest efforts on the subject is the four-year timeline built by Sue Williams, who wrote, directed, and produced this fine two-hour documentary. ...

"This is no snapshot. It is more of a depressing home movie. This is also a case in which video trumps the written word. We have human faces, emotionally bruised, attached to the government verbiage. We see declining living conditions, dwindling food and clothes, too. We see a new existential fear in people's eyes. ..."


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