The Blood of Yingzhou District (2006)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Illnesses & Disabilities, Social Issues  |   Run Time - 40 min.  |   Countries - China, USA  |  
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With her forty-minute work The Blood of Yingzhou District, documentarist Ruby Yang (the editor of Bill Moyers's acclaimed Becoming American: The Chinese Experience (2003)) pulls viewers into a low-profiled (yet horrific) social crisis: the AIDS epidemic in China. With this film, Hong Kong native Yang shockingly details how the Chinese government ran blood banks, promising thousands of dirt poor local residents 50 Yuan in exchange for blood - with contaminated needles and other supplies. A large number of participants contracted AIDS and subsequently died, leaving behind a wave of orphans who became social outcasts. Many of the children then raised each other, aside from a very few, who were taken in by loving families. Yang enters the Yingzhou region and follows the plight of a number of these orphans, including a particularly unfortunate one, Gau Jun. Abandoned by his family, he hasn't uttered a word since and is now treated as a pariah by surrounding communities. The film reveals how the little boy is taken in by a loving, accepting family and given a second chance. But Yang reminds her audience that because of governmental irresponsibility, many other less fortunate children exist, left to fend for themselves, who may never find adoptive parents and social acceptance.

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