China's Angry Youth
A composite of film stills. See below for extended caption:
On the morning of April 15th, a short film entitled “2008 China
Stand Up!” appeared on Sina, a Chinese Web site. The film’s origin was a mystery: unlike the usual YouTube-style clips, it had no host, no narrator, and no signature except the initials “CTGZ.” It was a homespun documentary and it opened with a Technicolor portrait of
Chairman Mao. Out of silence came an orchestral piece, thundering with drums and male chorus, as a black screen flashed one of Mao’s mantras: “Imperialism will never abandon its intention to destroy us.” The piece was a compilation of present-day photos and news footage, a fevered sprint through conspiracies and betrayals—the “farces, schemes and disasters” confronting China today. From scenes of the sinking Chinese stock market: the work of foreign speculators who “wildly manipulated” Chinese stock prices and lured rookie investors to lose their fortunes to the Tibetan uprising in March and triumphant images of China’s Olympic hurdler Liu Xiang standing in Tiananmen Square, raising the Olympic torch, “a symbol of Peace and Friendship!” The film ends on the image of a Chinese flag, aglow in the sunlight, and a solemn promise: “We will stand up and hold together always as one family in harmony!” The clip, which was just over six minutes long, crystallized an outburst of nationalism that had been unleashed after Chinese citizens were greeting the criticism with rare fury.