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China blocks an environmental pollution documentary, and it goes viral


Continuing its tradition of hard hitting internet censorship People’s Republic of China banned the documentary titled ‘Under the Dome’. The documentary exposes extreme air pollution rates in China.china-air-pollution-video-documentary

On Chinese video sharing websites, documentary received millions of views within one week of its release.  The filmmaker also a former television report, very well known name in China has maintained her silence on the issue.  Repeated attempts of interviewing her by domestic and foreign reporters have failed.

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However, country’s foreign ministered has compared the documentary to the book ‘Silent Spring’, which triggered environmental movement in the United States after its release in 1962.

The Communist Party of China’s central propaganda department issued orders to take the documentary down to the websites on Friday afternoon. The Communist Party also maintains tight grip over the country’s media.

The documentary has managed to put the issue of ‘China’s environmental degradation ‘back in the spotlight. The national debate over the environmental concerns has resulted in the ban by officials, who have well understood the political significance of the event.

The single party government in China is known for crushing grass-root movements and conversation, which are foundations for fighting massive pollution.

The documentary was produced by investigative journalist Chai Jing, who used to work in state run China Central Television (CCTV). Other former employees of the state network also cooperated in the production.

Support of pro-environment officials inside the Chinese government is clearly visible from the interviews and material in the film. The members of the Chinese media, who are vocal about the cause of the environment, have opposed the documentary.

Ms. Chai has self financed 104 minute long documentary. The most part of the documentary is a TED talk by her comprising of a PowerPoint presentation. Scientifically established facts are being presented in documentary by her.  She connects with audience on emotional note when the 39 year old explained effects of air pollution on infants, a major concern among Chinese parents.

Watch the documentary video here, if you have almost 2 hours to watch it:


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