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?


I found this program to be extremely interesting and informative. I was so interested in the people portrayed, that I had to read about their progress on this website.

I look forward to more fascinating programs in the future.

Central Valley, California


I was carefully thinking of the characters in the documentary and relating them to my own experiences, from both a Chinese and American perspective on these social issues. It gave me reminder of what my own goals were and how I could achieve happiness.

Thank you for making this documentary!

John Chang
Acton, MA


I worked in China for a year and come back to study for my favorite subject. After watching this video, all the memories have just recall from my mind. Sue truly reflects the view of current Chinese society. China is now a new country with lands of opportunities, but we all just have to sacrifice most of our personal life. I always worked at at least 12 hours a day with half day on Saturday. However, I gained lots of job experiences there. So I strongly recommend people should choose their favorite career while working in China, so they won't lose their temper while working overtime and build their "China dream" in the future.

allen wu
chino hills, ca


I am a Chinese student studying in US. This film is awesome!That's true China. Thank you very much!

bing li
washington, DC


Many thanks for focusing on ordinary people, for throwing those ideologies away and for being the bridge between two cultures. I was so amazed by the report.

L Tian
Seattle, WA


I am impressed by this movie, very impressed. It completely introduces a new view of China that most of time I don't see. There have been many negative reports about China recently, and mostly forcused on politics and human rights. But through this movie, I can tell people there are happy, and the nation is prospering. I just hope China can grow more successful and peaceful. After all, one out of five people on this planent are Chinese!

Alex Abraham
New York, NY


Very well done Cinma vrit, allowing the participants to lead the story, create the story. The values emerging are very much in line with Taiwan and Hong Kong, where modernity and capitalism, combine with strong Chinese values.

Clyde Warden
Taichung, Taiwan


Thanks for making these documentary films. Your collegues have a great camera, a great EYE! The train took me back to the train i ride before. The farm land took me back to my hometown. The mothers took me back to my mom. I like "Two China" concept. That's true. That is really we should to face.

If possible, I hope your camera could put to the earthquake happend two month ago.

Thank you!

Zhigang Cai
Indianapolis, IN


I'm so surprised that the film reflects such deep things in China.I'm a student from a small town.I think the film give me more social experience.I wonder why you choose those people to report.At the same time I hope you can make a film about chinese teachers and students.

zhang Yaqi
China, shanxi province


Thanks a lot for making the Frontline program on Young and Restless in China, a superb piece, and thoughtful efforts to enhance cross cultural understanding! It is personal and authentic. Great to learn those profiled seriously thinking and living challenging lives half a world away also. Perhaps an expanded program could be produced to showcase the young in American, and for that matter, around the world, also in their pursuit of happiness and meaning in life... Wearing different human faces, there are amazing people everywhere; to recognize them, understand them, and more importantly, connect them over time and space are concrete and long term ways to bring the world together against all the forces driving us apart.

We can build a better world, in which our common destiny ahead is shared. It is exciting just to think about it and hope we all could help make it happen. Would be glad to join the endeavor...

Wonder what do you think? "Young" and Pursuing, Around the World.

Ge Zhang
Philadelphia, PA


I spent five years in China, '97 - '02, studying Chinese and tutoring English. I have since returned and assimilated back into American culture and life. Quite often I stop and reflect on my time in China, and at the same time wonder what changes have taken place since leaving. Wow! Sue Williams! You did it! Watching your documentary made me feel like I was right smack back into the swing of things in China...I could hear the sounds, smell the street food, bump into a few people here and there (oh, the crowds and noise of urban life in China!).

Thank you, Sue, for taking me back and also giving me a glimpse of the changes that have taken place in China these last five years!

Chapel Hill, NC


Great documentary! Keep up the good work!There's one song I was unable to find on your webpage. I watch your show online. The song plays at the very start of segment 9 (Olympic countdown). Subtitles for the song read: "The street where we played as kids is covered with high-rises with no numbers..."Could you please provide me with the names of the song and artist?Thanks a lot!

Ned R.
Washington, DC

FRONTLINE's editors respond:

The song is called "Childhood" and the artist is Wang Xiaolei, the rapper who appears in the film. You can find out more about him and his music here:



I just finished watching your program online in China. My mother back in Washington State told me about it. I've been here since 2004 - the same year you began filming. The landscapes and the people you present are the real deal...

Every weekday I ride the Guangzhou Metro (subway) to work. Most mornings, if I'm early enough, I see two little old ladies bent under the weight of their shoulder poles. On the ends of the poles are huge baskets of fresh vegetables. They are riding the subway to market!

Now if that isn't Old China/New China, I don't know what is.

Ron Hendricks
Guangzhou, Guangdong, China


Dear Frontline, Great piece on the Young and Restless in China. But, I think they really tap danced around the major issues that the young in China are facing. I wonder if censorship played a part in what we were shown? I wonder if, in that internet cafe the users had FULL access to the internet? The prospect of that poor girl spending her new life, off of the farm, on the factory floor making widgets is grim. How long will she tolerate that? The piece did have a nice shot of the setting sun, I think it was in Beijing, but there was no mention that the sun was almost blocked out by the incredible smog. The piece also followed a fellow who had discovered Christianity...after so many years of suppression I'd think that ANY belief system would flourish in that cimate. But, good work, keep it up.

Bob Reeve
Las Vegas, Nevada


Thank you for spending 4 years producing this program. Thank you for showing another aspect of China, the "post 70s/80s" generation, as we called in Chinese.

You showed the various social/political/environmental issues in current China. You also showed the force among the young Chinese, a force that pushes for social progression/conscience/environmental protection. You removed the stereotype mask that was forced onto Chinese through Chinese movies catering to Western taste. For the first time in mainstream TV program, the audience get to see a wide range of young Chinese IN CHINA from different socioeconomic/educational background chasing their own dreams.

Compared to an eariler program, Shanghai Night Life (brocasted in 2004), young and restless in 2008 are more of the norm among the young Chinese. These young and restless are the backbone of China's future.

Y. Huang
Seattle, WA


Congratulations on another great documentary. I'm glad that there is still a program in the U.S. that expands our knowledge of societal changes in other parts of the world. Along with other valuable shows produced by PBS, it's another reason why public television continues to have the best educational programming.

Thank you also for making Frontline available on the Internet.

Blaise Buchowski
Seattle, WA


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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