Rising Waters: Submersion and Survival in Yung Chang’s Up the Yangtze


Using Yung Chang’s 2007 documentary film Up the Yangtze, Weik von Mossner unravels the power struggles accompanying the construction of the world’s largest hydroelectric power plant—the Three Gorges Dam in China. The film records both the slow submersion of landscapes and cities, and the strategies for survival used by the soon to be displaced people. The dam has deprived more than 1.2 million people of their homes and livelihoods; it has also produced a lucrative new form of disaster tourism. Chang’s film focuses on the poor people who work as staff on the rich cruise ships, while their own families struggle with the fact that their homes will soon be flooded.

DOI: doi.org/10.5282/rcc/6142