Synopsis by Nathan Southern
On May 12, 2008, Sichuan, China experienced one of the most devastating natural disasters of the early 21st Century. At 2:28pm local time that afternoon, an earthquake erupted that measured a whopping 8.5 on the Richter scale and annihilated an estimated 68,000 people. The city of Beichuan, in Qiang County, was one of the most devastated of all towns -and the real destruction, of course, lay not in the crumbled and dilapidated buildings, but in the irreparable human lives left in the wake of the calamity. Sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers and grandparents had their lives randomly and irrevocably torn away, with heartbroken victims left behind to pick up the pieces. First-time director Qi Zhao takes the reins for this sensitive, often heartbreaking documentary that interweaves the personal stories of three Beichuan Earthquake survivors, struggling to muster the resilience necessary to continue down the road of life. Meanwhile, as a backdrop, Zhao shows the Chinese government beginning to construct a new Beichuan that will give the surviving victims an improved way of life - but that comes with unmistakable drawbacks, such as a loss of community in the area.
China, destruction, devastation, earthquake, government, rebuilding, resilience, survivor