The Media Library, a part of the Long Bow Group Audio-Visual Archive of 20th Century China, contains video and audio clips, and a gallery of stills, paintings, and artwork. Events depicted include the founding of the People's Republic in 1949, National Day parades, Cultural Revolution rallies, the funeral of Mao Zedong in 1976, and the protests of 1989.
THE GATE OF HEAVENLY PEACE
The Gate of Heavenly Peace is a feature-length documentary about the 1989 protest movement, reflecting the drama, tension, humor, absurdity, heroism, and many tragedies of the six weeks from April to June in 1989. The film reveals how the hard-liners within the government marginalized moderates among the protesters (including students, workers and intellectuals), while the actions of radical protesters undermined moderates in the government. Moderate voices were gradually cowed and then silenced by extremism and emotionalism on both sides.
It is a sobering tale, for faced with the binary opposition between Communists and anti-Communists, there has been little middle ground left for the rational and thoughtful proponents of positive reform in China. By giving these ignored voices their proper place in history, The Gate of Heavenly Peace reveals an ongoing debate in China concerning the importance of personal responsibility and moral integrity, the need, as Vaclav Havel has put it, to "live in the truth."
With an international group of scholars, as well as participants in the events of 1989, the filmmakers spent six years investigating the story of the 1989 protests.
Interviewees in The Gate of Heavenly Peace include students, workers, teachers, and scholars. Many other key characters appear in archival and home video footage.
Controversy over The Gate of Heavenly Peace began months before it was completed late in 1995, and continues to follow the film worldwide.
Read the complete transcript of the film.
During the 1989 protests, nightly news accounts filmed in front of the Gate of Heavenly Peace enthralled millions of viewers around the world. The protests were clamorous and colorful, perhaps the most photogenic event ever reported from China. Televised coverage provided powerful, but one-dimensional, images of heroism and cruelty. This section explores the coverage by both the Western and Chinese media, and contains two studies published by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, included here in their entirety.