The Gate of Heavenly Peace

An immensely valuable three-hour 1995 documentary by Carma Hinton and Richard Gordon about the events in China’s Tiananmen Square in 1989–what led up to them, what they were, and what has ensued since. One of the most impressive things about this film is its view from the inside (Hinton has lived in China for most of her life); another is its refusal to adopt a single partisan position or to assume, as the filmmakers themselves put it, that there’s only one correct path for China. Drawing on archival materials, the filmmakers have also benefited from expert advisers–Orville Schell, for instance, served as a consultant. If you want to learn more about this pivotal event, this is a film likely to revise the very terms of your understanding it. Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Saturday, May 25, 2:30; Sunday, May 26, 3:00 and 6:30; and Tuesday and Thursday, May 28 and 30, 6:00; 443-3737. –Jonathan Rosenbaum

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