PBS airs poverty alleviation film in US
Hosted and written by Robert Lawrence Kuhn of the Kuhn Foundation, and helmed by award-winning director Peter Getzels, Voices From the Frontline: China's War on Poverty premiered on the Public Broadcasting Service on July 31.
Airing on SoCal, the Los Angeles-based PBS flagship station which reaches 19 million viewers across Southern California, the documentary gives Western audiences a rare glimpse into the internal workings of China's poverty alleviation efforts, one of the nation's most important government-led initiatives.
"The documentary provides a textured and intimate portrayal of China's anti-poverty campaign by following six cases that highlight the poverty alleviation strategy," the Kuhn Foundation said in a statement.
The PBS premiere marks the first time a major American network has covered the inside story of China's ambitious race to eradicate all extreme poverty by 2020.
Kuhn is an investment banker and longtime writer, as well as host of PBS hit series Closer to Truth, in which he interviews the world's greatest minds from the fields of science, philosophy and religion.
He is a renowned Sinologist and has been an adviser to China on matters of high finance, corporate strategy and international policy for the past 30 years. He is also a recipient of the China Reform Friendship Medal, China's highest international honor, which has only been awarded to 10 foreigners in four decades.
"To truly understand China, one has to recognize their genuine commitment to eradicating poverty," Kuhn said after its premiere.
"Today, in the Western world, especially in the United States, there is concern about China's actions and suspicion of China's motives. But one of the things I wanted this film to do was to undermine the stereotype of China as a ruthless giant out to dominate the world. It's just not the case."
Director of the documentary, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and two-time Emmy nominee, Getzels found the shooting process a profound experience.
"We wanted to tell the story from the different perspectives of everyone we met, from high-ranking officials all the way down to the families of the poor themselves," he says. "It turned out to be much more personal and nuanced."