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A Day to Remember/A Day Forgotten

A Day to Remember/A Day Forgotten

China’s suppression of the memory of the June 4 massacre of demonstrators in Beijing in 1989 is a perennial and important subject of commentary. Much written on the subject is excellent, but little I’ve seen describes repressed memory in action as powerfully or succinctly as this 13-minute film, which was shot in 2005 in Beijing on the campus of Peking University and in Tiananmen Square.

Perhaps appropriately, the film which is titled 忘却的一天 or “A Day Forgotten,” is called “A Day to Remember” in the English version I found on Vimeo. Filmmaker Liu Wei spends the day of June 4, 2005 simply asking passersby, “Do you know what day it is today?” What results are conversations not easily forgotten.

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Susan Jakes is Editor of ChinaFile and Senior Fellow at Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations. From 2000-2007, she reported on China for Time magazine, first as a reporter and editor based in...

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