Up the Yangtze!

  • Yung Chang
  • Canada
  • 2007
  • 93 min
  • International Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary
A luxurious cruise ship carries a group of predominantly Western tourists down the Yangtze River. On board, the well-trained Chinese staff offers a varied programme of food, drinks, and entertainment. Within the foreseeable future, the landscape that glides by will permanently disappear as a result of the construction of the gigantic Three Gorges Dam. This mega-project, presented asthesymbol of progress in modern China, will force two million people to move. Complete cities and villages will vanish under the steadily rising water, and although the government is helping to build new houses, hundreds of thousands of landowners have been duped. In the film, we watch them seek shelter higher on the banks of the constantly swelling river, their humble possessions in tow. Two stories of young people working on the cruise ship illustrate the contradictions of modern China. 'Cindy' Yu Shui really wants to go to university, but her parents cannot afford it. As poor farmers, they are quite literally up to their necks in the rising water. Dead on her feet, she washes the dishes in the galley while the handsome, English-speaking 'Jerry' Chen Bo Yu counts his tips.


  • 93 min
  • color
  • video
  • Spoken languages: English, Mandarin
  • Subtitles in: English
Yung Chang
Mila Aung-Thwin for EyeSteelFilm, John Christou for EyeSteelFilm, Germaine Ying Gee Wong for National Film Board of Canada
Executive producer
Daniel Cross for EyeSteelFilm, Ravida Din for National Film Board of Canada, Sally Bochner for National Film Board of Canada
Wang Shi Qing
Hannele Halm

IDFA history

International Premiere
IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

Browse the collection

439/479 results

Share this film

Print this page

IDFA history

This website uses cookies.

By using cookies we can measure how our site is used, how it can be further improved and to personalize the content of online advertisements.

 here everything about our cookie policy. If you choose to decline, we only place functional and analytical cookies