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Dreams of the Yangtze River

Feng Yan

Release year: 1997

Run time: 84 mins

Film type: Documentary


The construction of the Three Gorges Dam will force nearly a million people on both sides of the river to relocate their villages. This film follows several local families as they face the fate of leaving their villages, complaining about being forced to leave their ancestral homeland, resigning themselves to the situation, and reluctantly reacting.


Director biography

Born in 1962, Feng Yan is a Chinese independent documentary filmmaker. She was raised in Tianjin and attended Tianjin Foreign Studies University, graduating in 1984 with a degree in Japanese literature. Yan moved to Japan in 1988 where she studied for a PhD in economics at Kyoto University. In 1992, she worked as a translator in Tokyo where she had the opportunity to learn about documentary film. Most notably, her film Bing’ai, which documents the struggles of a Chinese woman farmer against relocation to make way for the Three Gorges Dam, won the Ogawa Shinsuke Prize at the 2007 Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival. The film also won first prize at the 2008 Punto de Vista International Documentary Film Festival in Spain.