PBS (Tues., June 2, 8 P.M. ET)
Public television’s investigative series Frontline travels back to China three years after the government crackdown on the student democracy movement and finds a society in uneasy flux. Understandably concerned with the dismantling of the Soviet Union, China’s hard-line Communist leadership, which filmmaker Irv Drasnin refers to as a “gerontocracy,” still ruthlessly controls politics and the media. But it is woefully out of touch with the younger generations (and two-thirds of China’s increasingly urbanized population is under 35), who are moving with determination toward free enterprise and greater consumerism.
Cameras were not allowed on any university campus, but we do see such radical developments as rock-and-roll bands and a fashion-modeling school crowded with young women learning runway technique. The documentary presents a revealing look at a volatile country.