Watch Petition in Full on Youtube

This is less of a post and more of a PSA: Zhao Liang’s excellent documentary Petition (上访) is available on Youtube. I should note that this is probably an illegal upload of the film, but it is so difficult to find a legitimate copy of the film ((I did find this DVD box set with three of Zhao’s films, all of which are worth seeing, but it’s a PAL-only French import so it won’t work in many American DVD players)) that I thought I would call your attention to it anyway. But I highly encourage you to also buy a copy of it if you ever get a chance.

I had the pleasure of meeting someone involved with this film last year in Beijing and speaking with him for a little while about the experience of making it. The film is the result of work that spanned over a decade, and it was extremely difficult to put together, especially the scenes that included footage from within the petition offices, where cameras are most definitely not allowed. It is a work that was immensely difficult to produce, and the results are incredible if also highly depressing.

It’s not available on Youtube in good quality — again, buy the DVD if you can find it! — but it does have Chinese and English subtitles and the quality is plenty good enough to watch. If you have the time, it’s highly recommended.

(I should also note that I came across this thanks to a link on Twitter the other day, but now I can’t remember who it was that posted it! My apologies, but if that person sees this and lets me know, I’d be happy to update this post with a link.)

5 thoughts on “Watch Petition in Full on Youtube”

  1. It’s really nice that in China you can threaten to kill people in broad daylight and get away with it. Those punks are sort of like legalised Triad gangsters.


  2. It was me…stumbled across it by accident. Haven’t been able to lay my hands on a copy of ‘Crime and Punishment’ yet though. Do you know how that would be possible?

    Happy to see that this will attract more viewers through your site. Harrowing viewing, but there is much grace in it too.


  3. Thanks Christopher! I’m not sure how to find C&P either. I watched it online a while ago, but that was part of a temporary thing, and it seems to just be gone now. I know dgenerate films used to distribute both of these films, but now they don’t list them on the site, so I wonder if they’re trapped in rights limbo somewhere or something. If so, that’d be a shame.


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