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"Assignment China: Tiananmen Square", a Screening and Talk

Doc screening and Q&A with reporters who captured the crackdown on pro-Democracy students on June 4th, 1989, in Beijing.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the violent suppression of pro-Democracy demonstrations in China on June 4th, 1989. For the journalists who were there, sharing the images and memories of what they witnessed that day in Beijing is a solemn responsibility.

Join us for a screening of 'ASSIGNMENT CHINA: TIANANMEN SQUARE' which tells the behind-the-scenes story of the reporters who covered the dramatic events in Beijing that spring.
The film will be followed by a Q&A with former CNN Beijing Bureau Chief, Mike Chinoy, and others who were there. The event is co-hosted by Video Consortium Taipei and the Taiwan Foreign Correspondents' Club.
The event will take place on June 5th, in order not to compete with Taipei's annual 6/4 Memorial.

Event Type: Screening followed by Q&A
Film Duration: 90-minutes
Date and Time: 7PM, June 5th, 2024
Location: Daybreak 破曉咖啡 - No. 110, Bangka Blvd, Wanhua District, Taipei City, 108
Fee: 200TWD (for space rental)
Note: The screening will take place in the basement, which does not have wheelchair access.

More about the film:
Tiananmen Square crisis of 1989 was a turning point for China. Weeks of student-led demonstrations turned into the largest protest for political reform in the history of the People’s Republic. The bloody military crackdown on June 3-4 which crushed the movement 35 years ago had far-reaching consequences, not only for China’s development, but for its relations with the rest of the world.

One reason was that Tiananmen Square was also a watershed moment in the history of the media. It generated unparalleled international coverage, and became a defining moment in the Information Age – the first time a popular uprising in an authoritarian state was broadcast live across the globe. The images from that time – the Goddess of Democracy, the man in front of the tank – have become enduring symbols of popular resistance to injustice. The coverage of Tiananmen redefined the relationship between the press, public opinion, and foreign policy making, and continues to influence both Chinese politics and international perceptions of China to this day.

Reported and narrated by Mike Chinoy, Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the University of Southern California’s U.S.-China Institute who was CNN’s Beijing Bureau Chief at the time, Assignment China: Tiananmen Square is one episode in a 12-part documentary series that is the basis for Chinoy’s recent book “Assignment China: An Oral History of American Journalists in the People’s Republic.” The film contains interviews with most of the leading American journalists who were in Beijing, as well as others who played a role in the press coverage.

Those interviewed include:

Dan Southerland of the Washington Post, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn of the New York Times, John Pomfret of the AP, Jeff Widener, the AP photographer who took the picture of the man in front of the tank, Al Pessin of VOA, Dan Rather, John Sheahan, and Richard Roth of CBS News, Bernard Shaw Alec Miran, Johnathan Schaer (who shot the CNN tank man video) and Mike Chinoy from CNN, Jim Laurie of ABC, Jaime FlorCruz of Time, Adi Ignatius of the Wall St. Journal, Dorinda Elliot of Newsweek, plus many others.

Non-media interviewees include former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, former American ambassadors to China Winston Lord and James Lilley, Tiananmen student leader Wang Dan, and others.

With video footage and still photos, some rarely shown in public, Assignment China: Tiananmen Square tells a largely unknown side of a story the world will be revisiting 35 years after the tumultuous events in Beijing in the spring of 1989.

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