This film by brilliant rising star director Yung Chang surprised me. I expected an environmental documentary about a gargantuan dam and instead got a moving personal, fictional-like account of the young people and families whose lives are transformed by the dam. As the frames play, the water rises. The farewell luxury cruise ships sail. The Chinese teenagers leave home to work. The American tourists act goofy. The peasants are forced to move everything, on their backs.
As Chang said with a smile, “This is the Love Boat meets Apocalypse
Now.” The remarkable thing is that Up The Yangtze is a documentary with rare
live footage of moments that will never occur again. You feel like the cat on the
hut floor, and it is a poignant and priceless place to be. www.uptheyangtze.com