Carrie Gracie of BBC follows locals in White Horse Village, a rural farming community in Wuxi county that is part of one of the biggest urbanization projects in China. Filmed over the course of six years, the documentary showcases the lives of residents forced to adjust to the sweeping changes taking over their small farming village.
The documentary gives insight into the plights of the China’s rural residents who have no choice but to adapt to the rapid, large-scale urbanization taking over the country. Not only must they abandon their homes and lifestyles but also their way of thinking.
Many voiced concerns that the project cut corners, shoved villagers aside. One particularly interesting perspective comes from the local Communist Party Secretary (later entangled in corruption accusations), who is torn between loyalty to the village his family has called home for decades, and his party duty to push forward development and justify the cause to residents.
The transformation from village to booming city in just a few years is astonishing. The documentary aired in 2012 but is a relevant glimpse into today’s rural China, its residents, entrepreneurs and migrant workers who will face the same bittersweet changes in upcoming years.