De regenmakers (Rainmakers)
The voice of the thunderbolt is big, but there isn't much rain, a Chinese saying asserts. Much ado about nothing, in other words. The Chinese government makes a great song and dance of an ecologically sound society, but local authorities are indifferent to complaints about the consequences of extreme pollution and climate change. Four civil activists appeal to them in vain. The stories in this documentary, made for VPRO's future affairs programme Tegenlicht, are arranged in line with the four elements. For example, fisherman's wife Wei battles against the industries that pollute the river water to such a degree that it colours red sometimes. Her customers complain that her fish tastes of paint or perfume. She tries to gather as much information as possible and publicise it. Internet entrepreneur Zhao, representative of the new generation, documents everything concerning the extreme stench of the nearby waste processing unit. Like rice farmer Chen (active against leaking poison) and herdsman Nasen (fights against the advancing desert), they show the courage, with the help of the media, to stand up for their rights in this repressive country.