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Watch A Boyhood Lost to Chinese Reëducation | The New Yorker Documentary


[title shutters and dings]

[doleful music]

[Tian] What can I see on this {photograph}?

The particulars lie beneath a haze of scratches.

Darkish layers of ice collect within the backside left.

A imprecise backdrop extends throughout the body.

The central determine stares into an unknown distance.

A second copy has the look of sandpaper.

But someway, the background turns into clearer

revealing a frozen floor.

Every little thing else is obscured, however his shadow strengthens.

[melancholic music]

The ultimate image is sort of a clean canvas,

blurred edges diminished his look.

The lack of focus reveals me this,

a lonely determine misplaced in a white expanse that overwhelms him.

[pulsating doleful music]

He’s my nice uncle,

a rusticated youth from Chongming Island close to Shanghai.

His story lies someplace inside these pale photos.

[melancholic music]

[people chattering]

[car whooshing]

[train rumbling]

[bell clanging][soft soothing music]

[train rumbling]

[gentle sorrowful music]

[Tian] He traveled for 3 days

to a village referred to as Xinshuguang.

Cities had been tormented by violence

from a pupil group referred to as The Red Guards,

intent on crushing all indicators

of China’s pre-communist previous.

Having first guided them,

Chairman Mao quickly wanted to cease their assaults.

His answer, ship 17 million youths

to the countryside with no promise of return.

They could be reeducated by hardworking peasants

in rural poverty.

Some went to close by farmland,

others from large cities like Shanghai needed to go additional.

My nice uncle was despatched

to the far north on the Siberian border.

I be part of him on a return journey to be taught extra.

[air whooshing]

[footsteps rustling] [dog barking]

[men chattering]

[man speaks in Chinese language]

[camera shutters]

[woman laughs]

[people chattering]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[people chattering]

[man speaks in Chinese language]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[man speaks in Chinese language]

[laughter]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[people chattering]

[man speaks in Chinese language]

[people chattering]

[traditional melodic music]

[men laughing]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[traditional melodic music continues]

[men laughing]

[Tian speaks in Chinese language]

[Tian speaks in Chinese language]

[camera shutters] [soft dramatic music]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[Tian speaks in Chinese language]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[Tian and Zhihao speak in Chinese language]

[gentle piano music]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[Tian speaks in Chinese language]

[gentle piano music] [camera clicks]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[gentle dramatic music]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[men chattering]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[camera clicks]

[upbeat traditional music]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[upbeat traditional music]

[Man speaks in Chinese language]

[upbeat traditional music continues]

[distant crowd chattering]

[horn blaring]

[vehicles revving]

[megaphone chattering]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[men speak in Chinese language]

[woman laughs]

[man laughs]

[cups clanging]

[men speak in Chinese language]

[laughter]

[distant cars whooshing]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[Wu speaks in Chinese language]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[Wu’s mother speaks in Chinese language]

[Wu’s mother speaks in Chinese language]

[Wu speaks in Chinese language]

[Wu speaks in Chinese language]

[laughter]

[Wu speaks in Chinese language]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[Wu speaks in Chinese language]

[Wu speaks in Chinese language]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[Wu speaks in Chinese language]

[Wu’s mother speaks in Chinese language]

[laughter]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[Wu’s mother speaks in Chinese language]

[Men speaks in Chinese language]

[Wu speaks in Chinese language]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[Wu speaks in Chinese language]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[Wu speaks in Chinese language]

[gentle piano music]

[Wu speaks in Chinese language]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[Wu speaks in Chinese language]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[Wu speaks in Chinese language]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[distant dogs barking] [gentle dramatic music]

[camera beeps and clicks]

[footsteps rustling]

[gentle dramatic music]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[camera beeps and clicks]

[melancholic music]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[gentle dramatic music]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[car horn beeps]

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]

[car horn beeps] [gentle dramatic music]

[Tian] After waves of protests,

the federal government ended reeducation.

A number of stayed on,

however most went residence to start their lives once more.

I return to a few photos

which first captured my consideration.

Every one has its personal reality.

Collectively they turn out to be clear.

[Zhihao speaks in Chinese language]



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