China’s ‘Great Leap Forwards’ saw the Communist Party of Mao Zedong drive his country’s economy towards collectivism and mass industrialisation. The results were tragic, with policies of systematic coercion and violence leading to the deaths of tens of millions.
In 1989, hundreds of protestors were massacred in Tiananmen Square after pro-democracy demonstrations, and martial law was subsequently declared in Beijing.
Filming secretly in southern China a few months after this event, The Great Leap Backwards examined the human and economic impact of the tragedy, and featured perspectives of the pro-democracy movement. It was broadcast in the UK by Channel 4 Dispatches.