Without a Paddle

You’ve always been fascinated by China. From its secrecy to its ambitious economic development, you know it’s filled with censored stories. The saga of one girl’s struggle has escaped, however. In the new documentary Up the Yangtze, you’re drawn into her heartache as she’s ripped from her family and sent to work aboard cruise ships that tour China’s Yangtze River. Those who used to reside along the Yangtze’s edges knew that this magnificent river was more than just a landmark: It was the waterway essential to all aspects of life. But what the villagers saw as their livelihood, the government viewed as potential energy — a source of force that could be tapped by the most gargantuan hydroelectric dam ever built. Now, with the construction completed and the water level rising, hundreds of thousands of farmers are displaced. Up the Yangtze’s central characters are out of options. Already living in a tent, with the water creeping nearer, their middle school-aged daughter must leave and wash dishes for Western tourists. Her paycheck might keep them afloat in this modern China. Catch it today at Sunrise Cinemas 11 (4321 NW 88th Ave., Sunrise). Tickets range $7 to $8.75. Visit www.sunrisecinemas.com.
Sun., May 25, 2008
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Jamie Laughlin