The Gate of Heavenly Peace:
The Making of the Film
THE GATE OF HEAVENLY PEACE was directed and produced by Carma Hinton and Richard Gordon, who together have made over ten films about China. More than 300 hours of archival footage were analyzed for THE GATE OF HEAVENLY PEACE, and over 20 students, workers, writers, teachers, government officials, and intellectuals were interviewed, both in the United States and overseas.
For more about the making of the film, see the following articles:
- Squaring Off Over Tiananmen by Jerry White, in The Independent, January/February 1996
- Anatomy of a Massacre by Richard Woodward, in The Village Voice, 4 June 1996
The following sections detail various aspects of the film:
Read the biographies of the directors and other key personnel.
Read an essay about the original music composed for the film, which includes reinterpretations of the Chinese song, "The East is Red." Also included is a discussion about the historical background of "The East is Red."
The influence of Chinese rock and roll on the 1989 protest movement is explored in THE GATE OF HEAVENLY PEACE; read more about Chinese rock music in " Official Bad Boys or True Rebels," by Geremie R. Barmé.
The title of the film, "The Gate of Heavenly Peace," is a literal translation from the Chinese, "Tiananmen." The calligraphy used for the title is that of Mao Zedong. Read more about Chinese calligraphy and its relationship to politics and power in China in Brushes with Power: Modern Politics and the Chinese Art of Calligraphy, by Richard Curt Kraus.
This site contains the full manuscript (some 200 pages) of a previously unpublished book entitled On the Eve--China '89 Symposium, Bolinas California, 27-29 April, 1989. It covers the discussions on Chinese politics and culture at a major symposium of Chinese, U.S. and Australian writers on the key issues faced in China in the late 1980s and 1990s. Organized by Orville Schell, Liu Baifang, and Hong Huang, this symposium brought together prominent commentators on the cusp of the Protest Movement in Beijing for freewheeling debates. It was at this symposium that several of the film's key participants and consultants started working together on THE GATE OF HEAVENLY PEACE. Each section of the material is introduced by a leading academic in Chinese studies.
This film is available for rental or purchase.