The documentary “How Free Are the Chinese People?” takes an in-depth look at the freedoms of Chinese citizens and the reality of life in China today. It explores issues such as religious freedom, press freedom, public assembly rights, and grievances against the state.
The film delves into topics like Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism – which is frowned upon by the Communist Party – and Catholicism, where official governance comes from the Party instead of the Vatican. Additionally, it examines how Falun Gong poses a threat to the Chinese government, while also discussing restrictions on freedom of expression via media outlets.
The second half of the documentary focuses on popular grievances such as forced evictions, corruption, land grabbing and AIDS denial. Currently there are 87,000 cases of public disorder in China per year that often go effectively unheard due to courts shying away from handling sensitive matters. The cameras take viewers inside a “Re-education Through Labor” camps to give an insight into how these centers operate.
In response to criticism regarding rural areas Prime Minister Wen Jiabao vowed to build a “New Socialist Countryside” with improved education quality, healthcare access and agricultural tax reliefs. However with local governments rife with corruption it remains unclear whether or not this relief will reach those who need it most.
Finally viewers witness what happened when Taishi village attempted to impeach their corrupt leaders — initially praised by leading Party newspapers — only for their success to be met with violence and intimidation as old leaders were reinstated by local government forces.
This gripping documentary provides an honest look at life in modern day China and offers an eye-opening perspective into how free its people really are. Any viewer interested in learning more about human rights issues around the world will find “How Free Are The Chinese People?” both informative and insightful — making it well worth watching!