Reality Bites

Chen Weijun won't win any prestigious prizes for the TV shows he produces for the local TV station in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. His reports on patriotic celebrations and official history lessons are the standard, sanitized fare characteristic of China's government programming. But that's just his day job. The filming Chen really cares about — what he calls "the most important thing I've done in my life" — he does surreptitiously in his spare time.

Chen is one of China's few independent documentary filmmakers — and to get honest footage in a country that often treats...

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