It’s been called China’s An Inconvenient Truth. And just as Al Gore’s 2006 documentary forced climate change to the top of the national agenda in America, so former CCTV investigative reporter Chai Jing’s report is doing the same for air pollution and smog in China.
Under the Dome, the independently-made film produced and directed by Chai, features her on stage, unveiling the results of her investigation into the pollution stemming from China’s unprecedented manufacturing boom, and it’s dependence on low quality, unwashed coal. With the use of photography, graphics and animations, she shares information gathered from conversations with scientists and experts, scathingly criticising the way Chinese cities are so often engulfed in smog, and explains the impact of high levels of air pollutants, particularly PM2.5 fine particles, have on peoples’ health, and the surrounding environment.
She also includes direct comparisons with the industrial revolution in Victorian Britain, and the health hazards and death rates which followed this rapid coal-based industrialisation.
An English-language version of the film is now available online:
Chai concludes by citing the examples of London and Los Angeles, and how they managed to clean up their smog emissions whilst continuing to grow their populations, car usage, and energy consumption.
The film has been immensely popular, gaining more than 150 million views within a week of it’s release. However, latest reports claim the film has subsequently been censored by the Chinese government.