China's massive Three Gorges Dam is altering the landscape and the lives of people living along the fabled Yangtze River. As the river rises, countless ancient villages will be submerged forcing 2 million people to lose their homes and livelihoods.
Filmmaker Yung Chang examines the effects of this massive project on the lives of the people it affects; sixteen-year-old Yu Shui and her family are dismantling their tiny shack along the river’s edge to make way for rising waters. She longs to continue her education, but financial circumstances force her to work for Farewell Cruises, ferrying tourists to catch a glimpse of the river region before it’s too late.
The irony of her employment becomes clear as the boat glides along the river, revealing a landscape changing at an alarming pace. Beautifully photographed, Chang shows the tenuous balance between China’s rich cultural past and its modernized future. – Sundance Film Festival.