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'China from the Inside' Comes to PBS

- Four-hour mini-series by Jonathan Lewis to air January 2007 -- Viewers will get an insider's perspective to an enigmatic country -

December 27, 2006 --

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- China is rapidly becoming a world power, but much of the country and its people remain hidden to those outside its borders. This winter, PBS viewers will get an insider's view of China, her institutions and people. China from the Inside, a four-hour mini-series co-produced by KQED and Granada Television, airs on two consecutive Wednesdays, January 10 at 9pm and January 17 at 9pm (2 hours each night, check local listings).

China is at a critical point in its history -- it is richer and stronger than ever, but the clash between economic policies and the Communist political agenda complicates the lives of many of its citizens. China from the Inside includes perspectives ranging from those of the powerful to the powerless, the scholars and the uneducated, and the supporters and detractors of today's China. It does not shy away from China's many contradictions, with scenes from some of the most breathtaking places on the planet as well as the most polluted. Candid conversations with modern urban people are featured along with inhabitants of traditional rural communities.

China from the Inside includes visits to temples in Tibet, Communist Party meetings, a village election, court rooms, newspaper offices, a women's labor camp, and a country wedding. From these domains, viewers observe the difficulties of navigating politics and culture in this vast country. In only four hours, viewers will be able to discern a China that few outside the country ever glimpse, a country of 1.3 billion people undergoing extraordinary growth while facing prodigious obstacles.

The four one-hour episodes of China from the Inside are:

Episode 1: Power and the People

How does the Communist Party exert control over 1.3 billion Chinese? Are village elections a chance for people to take a share in power? Can the Party end the rampant corruption and keep the people's trust? Chinese people, from farmer to Minister, speak frankly about the problems the country faces and the ways forward.

Episode 2: Women of the Country

China's women are argued over at their weddings and have one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Now many are beginning to fight for their rights and their futures. This hour shows discrimination against Xinjiang's Muslim women, various hardships faced by Tibetan women, and the status of some of those who have left the countryside for factory work in the cities.

Episode 3: Shifting Nature

China's environment is in trouble, but solutions often seem as harsh as the problems. A third of the world uses water from China's rivers, but rapid industrialization and climate change have led to bad air, polluted rivers and dire water shortages. One "solution" that has received considerable media attention in the West is the channeling of water in the biggest hydraulic project in world history. While it has benefited nearly half a million people, relocation from dam areas is causing mammoth social upheaval.

Episode 4: Freedom and Justice

Religious worship in China is problematic for Tibetan Buddhists, Catholics separated from Vatican influence, the 40 million adherents of China's unofficial churches, and the Falun Gong. Civic problems include forced evictions, government cover-up of AIDS, corruption and land grabbing. Filmed in Tibetan temples, newspaper offices and a labor camp, this final episode asks: what are the limits of freedom -- and the threats to stability?

China from the Inside is a co-production of KQED and Granada Television and is produced by award-winning documentary filmmaker Jonathan Lewis. Presented by KQED Presents, it is underwritten by the CPB, KQED Campaign for the Future Program Venture Fund, David & Cecilia Lee, and individuals. A complete list is available upon request to PBS.

About KQED

KQED Public Broadcasting, a service of Northern California Public Broadcasting, operates KQED Public Television 9, one of the nation's most-watched public television stations during prime-time, and KQED's digital television channels, which include KQED HD, KQED Encore, KQED World, KQED Life and KQED Kids; KQED Public Radio, one of the most-listened-to public radio stations in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service (88.5 FM in San Francisco and 89.3 FM in Sacramento);, one of the most visited station sites in Public Broadcasting; and KQED Education Network, which brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and media professionals through workshops, seminars and resources.

About Granada

Granada is part of ITV Productions which is one of Europe's top commercial television production companies, responsible for many of the greatest brands on television and their development off-screen. Building on a heritage of 50 years of programme making Granada produces TV across every genre, from drama, kids and arts, to factual, entertainment and sport, to daytime and lifestyle programming for the BBC, Sky One, Discovery, National Geographic and other terrestrial, satellite and digital channels. Many of the most successful and talked-about brands on TV are produced by Granada, including high-rating and award-winning shows such as Brainiac, Animal Precinct, Animal Cops, Agatha Christie's Marple and Poirot, Hell's Kitchen and Parkinson. Key production centres across the UK include London, Manchester, Leeds, Norwich and Bristol. The parent company is leading UK media company ITV plc.

About CPB

CPB, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,000 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related on-line services.

About PBS

PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's 348 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90 million people each week through on-air and online content. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of educational services for adult learners. PBS' premier kids' television programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (, continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet, averaging more than 35 million unique visits and nearly 400 million page views per month in 2005. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.

SOURCE KQED Public Broadcasting

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