Up the Yangtze



93 minutes | 2007 | Documentary | English, Sichuanese Dialect and Mandarin Chinese | English Subtitles

45th Golden Horse Film Festival – Best Documentary

6:50 PM, SAT, MAY 13
Innis Town Hall
Post-Screening Live Q&A with Director

A luxurious cruise ship sails along the Yangtze, the legendary waterway commonly referred to as “The River” in China. This river is on the brink of a dramatic transformation due to the construction of the largest hydroelectric dam in history. As floodwaters rise towards her family’s humble home on the riverbank, a young woman bids them farewell. The Three Gorges Dam, a symbol of the economic progress in China, serves as the awe-inspiring setting for Up the Yangtze, a gripping feature documentary that depicts life in contemporary China.


Yung CHANG is a Canadian filmmaker currently based in Montreal, where he earned a degree in film production in 1999 from Concordia University. His parents are both first-generation Chinese immigrants to Canada. Through their influence, Yung maintains a strong interest in contemporary Chinese issues. Since 1996, he has spent extended periods in China and has travelled throughout the country. His first documentary film, Earth to Mouth, produced by the National Film Board of Canada, is a beautifully crafted meditation on migrant farm labor, food production and Canada’s Chinese community. It played widely on the international festival circuit, winning awards at the International Film and Video Festival in Columbus, Ohio, and Montreal’s Rencontres Internationales du documentaire. He is also a graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City, where he studied the Meisner technique. He makes innovative use of this methodology in Up the Yangtze, his first feature-length documentary.


  • Director: Yung CHANG
  • Executive Producer: Daniel Cross, Mila Aung-Thwin, Ravida Din (NFB), Sally Bochner (NFB)
  • Producer: Mila Aung-Thwin, Germaine Ying-Gee Wong (NFB), John Christou
  • Cinematographer: Wang Shi Qing
  • Editor: Hannele Halm
  • Music: Oliver Alary
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