In the new HBO documentary CHINA’S UNNATURAL DISASTER: THE TEARS OF SICHUAN PROVINCE, the award-winning team of Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill (HBO’s Emmy®-winning “Baghdad ER”), capture the anguish of the parents whose children were killed on May 12, 2008, when a catastrophic earthquake hit Sichuan Province in rural China. Nearly 70,000 people, including 10,000 children were killed, in town after town where poorly constructed school buildings crumbled, wiping out classrooms filled with students, most of them their parents’only child.
“If children are the flowers of our country, is this where you plant them?” asks a mother in Fuxin, after seeing the fallen building’s bricks, dumbfounded by the lack of cement.
But when grieving mothers and fathers sought explanations and justice, they found their path blocked by incompetence, corruption and empty promises. CHINA’S UNNATURAL DISASTER: THE TEARS OF SICHUAN PROVINCE debuts Thursday, May 7 (8:00-8:45 p.m. ET/PT), just days before the first anniversary of the tragedy, exclusively on HBO.
Directed by Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill; Produced by Jon Alpert, Peter Kwong, Michelle Mi, Matthew O’Neill & Ming Xia; Edited by Adam Barton; Editor & Colorist: John Custodio; Cinematography & Audio: Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill. For HBO: supervising producer, Jacqueline Glover; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.
Thu 5/7 8:00-8:45pm HBO
Sat 5/9 4:15-5:00pm HBO2
Mon 5/11 4:30-5:15pm HBO2
Tue 5/12 7:45-8:30am HBO
Tue 5/12 11:00-11:40pm HBO
Thu 5/14 12:00-12:45pm HBOSIG
Sat 5/16 10:15-11:00am HBO
Mon 5/18 5:45-6:30pm HBO