Director Richard Gordon, Carma Hinton / 1995 / USA

A lone figure confronts a tank in the largest iipublic space on earth symbol for the protest by idealistic youth against a repressive regime, provoking a bloody crackdown We all know what happened in Tiananmen Square during the Beijing spring of 1989, don't we? Well, no

"Carma Hinton and Richard Gordon spent five full years working on The Gate of Heavenly Peace and have come up with the most impartial and illuminating account we will ever have of what happened in Tiananmen square in the spring of 1989 "Working with a team of distinguished advisers and collaborators, they clarify the long tradition of protest in the Square, the debates and divisions within the student movement and the catastrophic rise of extremist positions within both the government and democracy movement In the process they set new standards in analytic reportage few films have used archive material and testimonies with such precision and point Every word and image yields maximum clarity At last we can understand what really happened on the night of 4 June, 1989"

• Tony Rayns

"The Filmmakers have gathered extraordinary footage, not only of Spring 1989, but of the student protests of May 4. 1919. the founding of the PRC in 1949, the cultural revolution and much else The atmosphere of the Beijing Spring is conveyed in all its pathos, drama, hope, craziness, poetry and violence One could not wish for a better example of an expert's view of Chinese history "

• an Buruma, NY Review of Books

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