Padraig’s review published on Letterboxd:
Ooooh, surprised this has no reviews! (especially considering it has been on YouTube for years)
I approached it with a somewhat guarded attitude considering the amount of controversy it seemed to generate but yeah, it's good stuff! Considering the surprisingly small number of documentaries of any kind surrounding the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, the majority of which seem to focus on Tank Man, it's fortunate that there's one this detailed with as many key parties featured.
It's a pretty great run through of how a protest staged at the perfect moment can have the potential to cause some really serious change, and how quickly that potential can absolutely fall apart if there's no clear consensus on goals or follow through.
On the whole the filmmakers do a solid job of explaining the background and getting you to know all of the key figures involved. Film is absolutely dripping with great footage and side-stories too... looking back 3 hours seems short actually. I guess there's a risk that it'd be tedious surface level stuff to someone who has read a lot about it.
Strong recommend from me anyways