Skip to main content

PETITION

France / China, 2009 (MIFF 2010, States of Dissent)

Director: Zhao Liang

“Even Franz Kafka would find it hard to credit the systemic injustice denounced in Petition.” - Screen International

In his quest to give voice to the unheard masses of China, filmmaker Zhao Liang spent 12 years gathering footage, much of it secretly filmed, to tell a story of the plight of thousands. Travelling from around the country to visit Beijing's Complaints Office, Chinese citizens with grievances find themselves stuck in a bureaucratic nightmare that can last years. Met with indifference, rejection and even physical abuse by the system supposedly in place to help them, the petitioners experience despair, mental illness and even death.

In the shantytown of ‘Petition Village' the complainants live in fear, doing their best to avoid the unscrupulous government ‘retrievers' sent to dissuade petitioners - but they remain heroically determined to have their day of justice.

D/S Zhao Liang P Sylvie Blum WS INA L Mandarin w/English subtitles TD digibeta/2009

See also...

PETITION – THE COURT OF THE COMPLAINANTS

“Even Franz Kafka would find it hard to credit the systemic injustice denounced in Petition.” - Screen International ... Giving voice to the unheard masses of China, filmmaker Zhao Liang spent 12 ... More »

PETITION

“Bring down corruption, give me my human rights!” That's the cry heard early in Zhao Liang's Petition, a searing indictment of China's politically controlled legal system. ... Zhao Liang spent ... More »

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

See the world of a small Chinese town through the eyes of the People's Armed Police, a paramilitary group charged with maintaining order in a nation of 1.3 billion people. ... Zhao Liang's sharp eye ... More »

10 CONDITIONS OF LOVE, THE

Is there a tougher woman than Rebiya Kadeer? ... Rebiya Kadeer spent six years in a Chinese prison before being exiled to Washington DC. An tireless advocate for the independence of her oil-rich ... More »

STRANGE BIRDS IN PARADISE - A WEST PAPUAN STORY

The story of a people confronting tyranny with the joyful power of art, music and self-expression. ... Intensely political and emotional, this documentary is a celebration of West Papua, told through ... More »

MY NEIGHBOR, MY KILLER

“Aghion's powerful film sets the beauty of a country against the unimaginable barbarity [that] took place.” - Screen International ... Could you ever forgive the people who slaughtered your ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director