Tian An Men and the Film "Gate of Heavenly Peace."
cwellen at pen.k12.va.us
Wed Jun 5 03:38:20 MDT 1996
Comradely Greetings to all supporters of Workers' Control of the Means
of Production and Genuine Democracy ! ! !
On the US Public Broadcasting Network there was, last night, a showing
of the documentary "The Gate of Heavenly Peace."
This was an excellent, though by no means complete, presentation of the
events in Beijing, 1989.
It shows the hypocrisy of the government (though it is too soft on Deng
Most interestingly, it gives a very detailed view of the Student
MOvement itself, how it tried to connect itself to the working class
movement, how it tried to apply democratic principles. It explains
exactly why the movement failed. It seems the student leader Chai Ling
was an opportunist power seeker who did seek to provoke as much blood
shed as possible. In her own words--she says this in a clip while
crying--she admits hiding from the students the 'fact' that only a blood
bath on the square, which she is determined to provoke--can wake China
up and lead to a new revolution. This is one of the more interesting
'revelations' of the documentary--though it contains much, and deserves
Wei En Lin
PS The film also seems to confirm the government's statement that, at
least in the square itself, no one was killed. US reporters estimates
of 2,000 to 4,000 killed on or near the square appear to be exagerated
or downright false. This is according to a Taiwanese witness who was
there until 6.00. in the morning.
I do not think this film will make anyone happy--hardliners, Maoists,
suppporters of the student movement, US right wing propagandists,
liberals--it is simply another important piece in the puzzle. The film
will make people think.
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