Political Videos‎ > ‎

River Elegy

River Elegy (Chinese: 河殇; Pinyin: Héshāng) was a six-part documentary shown on China Central Television in 1988 that announced the death of traditional Chinese civilization.
The film asserted that the Ming Dynasty's ban on maritime activities alluded to the building of the Great Wall by China's first emperor Ying Zheng. China's land-based civilization was defeated by maritime civilizations backed by modern sciences, and was further challenged with the problem of life and death ever since the latter half of the 19th century, landmarked by the Opium War. Using the analogy of the Yellow River, China was portrayed as once at the forefront of civilization, but subsequently dried up due to isolation and conservatism. Rather, the revival of China must come from the flowing blue seas which represent the explorative, open cultures of the West and Japan.