e360 Documentary on Pollution in China Nominated for an Oscar


Image via The Warriors of Quigang video

The Warriors of Qiugang is a film that follows the story of the Chinese village Quigang and its fight against a chemical factory polluting the area. Co-produced by Yale Environment 360 and featured exclusively on its site, the short documentary has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject). No surprise considering the story the documentary unravels. Yale Environment 360 writes:

Like many villages in China's industrial heartland, Qiugang -- a hamlet of nearly 1,900 people in Anhui province -- has long suffered from runaway pollution from nearby factories. In Qiugang's case, three major enterprises with little or no pollution controls churned out chemicals, pesticides, and dyes, turning the local river black, killing fish and wildlife, and filling the air with foul fumes that burned residents' eyes and throats and sickened children.

The pollution from the Jiucailuo Chemical plant became so egregious that in 2007, Qiugang's residents -- working with a fledgling environmental group, Green Anhui -- began to try to do something about it. Their efforts soon attracted the attention of Chinese-American filmmaker Ruby Yang, who with cinematographer Guan Xin and longtime collaborator Thomas Lennon, spent the ensuing three years chronicling the struggle of Qiugang's increasingly emboldened population to curb the pollution that was poisoning them in their homes, schools, and fields.

The short documentary, only 39 minutes, illustrates the transformation of the village and its inhabitants as they fight against the factory -- particularly farmer Zhang Gongli who is followed by cameras recording the threats, rallies, and travels he endures to protect his home and family.

It's an incredible story and we're rooting for one of our favorite environmental science websites as they contend for the Oscar.

Watch the video
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Tags: Awards | China | Pollution