Waking the Green Tiger

The Rise of a Green Movement in China

This documentary, by filmmaker Gary Marcuse, follows a group of environmental activists trying to prevent the construction of dams on the Nu (Salween) and the Upper Yangtze (Jinsha) rivers in Yunnan province in southwest China. Waking the Green Tiger uses archival footage of the Mao era mission to “conquer nature” to tell the story of environmental degradation in modern China. In the 1950s, Mao mobilized millions of people in campaigns that nearly exterminated the nation’s sparrows and destroyed its lakes, marshes, forests, and grasslands, unleashed dust storms, and stifled critics. For more than 50 years, succeeding generations pursued the idea that nature must serve the people. Today, a new understanding of the need to protect nature has emerged and is growing stronger every day. An English subtitled version of the film can be purchased online here, and a Chinese language version can be seen for free here.