- China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province shows the
harsh political aftershocks of China's deadly earthquake
- Premieres on HBO Canada on Thursday, May 7 at 8 p.m. ET/MT
TORONTO, April 23 /CNW/ - Coinciding with the first anniversary of one of
China's deadliest tragedies, HBO Canada, a multiplex channel of Corus
Entertainment's Movie Central (Western Canada) and Astral Media's The Movie
Network (Eastern Canada), presents China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of
Sichuan Province. Premiering day-and-date with HBO in the U.S. on Thursday,
May 7 at 8 p.m. ET/MT, this new, original documentary explores the aftermath
of the catastrophic 7.9 earthquake that hit Sichuan Province in rural China on
May 12, 2008, resulting in nearly 70,000 deaths, including 10,000 children.
As the earth shook, supposedly earthquake-resistant school buildings
crumbled, wiping out classrooms full of students, most of them their parents'
only child. But when the grieving mothers and fathers sought explanations and
justice, they found their path blocked by incompetence, corruption and empty
promises. Rushing to China after the earthquake's damage was announced around
the world, filmmakers Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill witnessed the mishandled
search and rescue attempts and saw parents forced to remove their own
children's bodies from the ruins and bury them in above-ground graves on their
In this documentary, Alpert and O'Neill follow a group of parents from
the town of Fuxin on their 70-mile march to the provincial capital, holding
pictures of their dead children and demanding an investigation into the
construction of the schools. Instead, they are met by apathetic local
officials who intimidate and argue with them for speaking out against the
Communist Party and the Chinese government.
Alpert and O'Neill were able to courier their footage out of China before
being detained and questioned for eight hours by Chinese officials. The result
is a documentary that offers a compelling view of the harsh political
realities of modern China and the dark side of its booming economy and volume
of construction, set against a backdrop of unimaginable loss and suffering.
China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province is the latest
project from the Emmy(R)-winning filmmaking team behind Baghdad ER, Section
60: Arlington National Cemetery and Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq.
The documentary will also be offered in high definition on HBO Canada HD
and will be available on The Movie Network OnDemand and Movie Central On
Demand following its network premiere.
HBO Canada is a multiplex channel offered by Astral Media's The Movie
Network (Eastern Canada) and Corus Entertainment's Movie Central (Western
Canada). HBO Canada brings Canadians the current slate of signature dramatic
programs for which HBO is known, together with new and never-before-seen
programming including comedy series, live specials, sporting events,
behind-the-scenes content and titles from HBO's extensive library - all in an
uncut and commercial-free environment. HBO Canada is offered in high
definition on HBO Canada HD and programming is accessible on demand where
available by service provider. For more information, please visit
The Movie Network is an Astral Media Television Network. Astral Media
(ACM.A/ACM.B) is a leading Canadian media company, active in specialty and pay
television, radio, outdoor advertising and iMedia.
Movie Central is owned by Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR.B/CJR), a
Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in
specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television,
advertising services, television broadcasting, children's book publishing and
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For further information: Media contacts: The Movie Network (Eastern
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(Western Canada), Owen McCorquodale, (416) 530-2249,