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Falling from the Sky

2h 25m



Zanbo Zhang



As a little-known place, Suining County, Hunan, lies directly in the path of falling debris from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center-- one of the three Satellite Launch centers in China. Since 1990, it has been visited many times by those dangerous 'aliens' from the sky. The wreckage have smashed into the tranquil lives of the 160,000 impoverished inhabitants in the landing area, damaged their farmlands and houses, and killed their livestock and crops. One of the most tragic accidents happened on 30 May 1998, when a 16-year-old girl in her second year of middle school was killed by the debris of a rocket that landed after the launch of a communication satellite called ChinaStar-1 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. This tragedy remained unknown for many years because of media blackout by Chinese authorities, who have always claimed that 'the rocket debris have never caused any casualties'. 2008 is the 'Olympic Year' as well as the 'Space Year' for China. While the people of Suining eagerly awaited the Olympic Games like their fellow countrymen and became proud of the development of their nation especially in space exploration, they had to endure the fate of rocket wreckage falling on their heads. The director (also the cinematographer) Zanbo Zhang took his camera deep into rocket wreckage landing area in Suining County, capturing the vivid and rich memories and reactions of the local people to falling debris, as well as their poor and difficult daily lives on their homeland-this is the heart-wrenching reality behind the 'rise of a great nation'.