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In "Protests," the film's first half, the villagers build a grassroots movement to reverse the land sales and regain control over their territory. They learn to organize free and fair elections, form alliances, and win support. But part two, "After Protests," confronts the collapse of idealism as the newly elected village government finds itself mired in the same kind of corrupt dealings they had originally condemned.
Li reveals the complexities of their triumphs and setbacks from the inside. Her astonishingly intimate, sympathetic and fair-minded portrait has unprecedented access to the events' major players, and gives a rare, raw view of Chinese local politics filled with passion and energy.
Some 75 miles east of Hong Kong, in China’s Guangdong province lies the coastal fishing village of Wukan. It became the center of a worldwide media story in 2011 when protests broke out over the corruption of local Communist Party officials, who were thrown out of office by angry residents ...