Up the Yangtze
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With Altmanesque narrative agility, a humanist gaze and wry wit, Chang's Upstairs Downstairs approach beautifully captures the microcosmic society of the luxury liner. Below deck: A bewildered young girl trains as a dishwasher--sent to work by her peasant family, who is on the verge of relocation from the encroaching floodwaters. Above deck: A phalanx of wealthy international tourists set sail to catch a last glance of a country in dramatic flux. The teenaged employees who serve and entertain them--now tagged with new Westernized names like "Cindy" and "Jerry" by upper management--warily grasp at the prospect of a more prosperous future.
Singularly moving and cinematically breathtaking, Up the Yangtze gives a human dimension to the wrenching changes facing not only an increasingly globalized China, but the world at large.
- New anamorphic master, created from Hi-Def elements and enhanced for widescreen TVs
- Twelve deleted scenes
- Time-lapse flooding footage of the Yangtze River
- 2006 Research Demo Reel
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
- Optional Traditional Mandarin subtitles
- Stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks
Top Customer Reviews
The documentary comes to DVD, via Zeitgeist Films, with an impressive pedigree. The PBS network aired it nationally. Various regional film festivals bestowed honors. Critics love the film.
It's an amazing piece of documentary filmmaking, because we see footage shot by candlelight in Yu Shui's tiny ramshackle farmhouse along the Yangtze River. Her parents know that the level of the Yangtze is about to rise dramatically, when the enormous dam is completed. They know that their tiny farm will be washed away. Meanwhile, Yu Shui is contemplating her own dreams of training for a profession.
Over a meager family dinner of noodles one evening, she dares to tell her parents that she hopes to continue her education because she knows that China needs "talented, educated" young people. She's hoping to become a professional and wants to help shape the world's future, she explains.
But her parents are illiterate. Their family situation is dire. They tell her that her plans must be put on hold.
Instead, Yu Shui is signed onto one of the luxury cruise ships that now carry tourists down the ever-widening Yangtze River. She is renamed Cindy, given a uniform and a small bunk on a lower deck of the big ship and sent into the kitchen to wash dishes. Eventually, she is taught how to interact with American guests and is allowed to help serve food in the dining room.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
very good film and culture and teaching very good very good pictures I give a 10Published 20 days ago by MARTIN VERA
Interesting movie to watch prior to our cruise up the Yangtze in July 2015. Sad and revealing history of relocation of over a million residents.Published 6 months ago by Chris Zahniser
Very detailed look at life in the 3 gorges relocation region of China.Published 15 months ago by D. L. Hartmann
Well made, fascinating movie. I've been on the Yangtze cruises, and that made it all the more interesting. China makes so many great movies lately. Read morePublished on December 12, 2013 by W. Eckert
This is not an Academy Award-winning film, nor will it keep you on the edge of your seat with suspense or fear. Read morePublished on December 6, 2013 by Rama
It may be unfair to quarrel with the director for not giving us the film I wanted, but I have to ask him:
Why did you waste valuable screen time on the self-centered... Read more