Dirty Secrets (China)

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Sociopolitical Documentary hosted by Stephen McDonell, published by ABC broadcasted as part of ABC Foreign Correspondent series in 2010 - English narration

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Image: Dirty-Secrets-China-Cover.jpg

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Dirty Secrets (China) Broadcast: 26/10/2010 Reporter: Stephen McDonell

In a small, grubby open shed a young woman picks a plastic piece from the pile in front of her, lights it, sniffs it to discern what sort of plastic it is and then consigns it to the appropriate recycling bin. Instantly the process is repeated and again, perhaps thousands of times during her shift. We can only guess at the cumulative damage she’s doing to herself.

In a small factory space workers apply a solvent to a well known computer logo before affixing them to laptops. They suffer chronic illness and end up in hospital with an uncertain future. Elsewhere we find workers from another much bigger factory convalescing from their protracted exposure to the same solvent used in their stage of the manufacturing process - cleaning the touch-screens of new generation devices. Some of these workers have been in hospital many months as their central nervous systems slowly repaired as best they could.

“I am back at work but my symptoms are still with me. My legs still hurt. This will accompany me for the rest of my life. It’s very painful.” COMPUTER ASSEMBLY WORKER

These are just a small grab-bag of scenes from a nation stunning the world with the scale and speed of its economic development and trying very hard to keep a lid on the grubby consequences. They’re scenes China’s authorities are not keen for you to see.

Nevertheless China Correspondent Stephen McDonell perseveres, taking us into remarkable, revealing and ultimately disturbing territory.

Rivers turned black and toxic, skies turned black and suffocating, there’s a big price being paid for the endless array of technological gadgetry and it’s not at western cash registers.

On this assignment, Stephen finds himself in the middle of an extraordinary melee. Orchardists in the beautiful hills above Minhou in the Fujian Province have grown frustrated and angry at the fallout from an incinerator burning spent hospital supplies even human organs discarded after surgeries.

No sooner does Stephen sit down to hear their complaints – including claims that the fallout has spiked cancer rates in the area – than government officials arrive to grill him about who tipped him off and to try to break up the gathering and shut down the interviews.

Remarkably the villagers protest and kick up such a storm the officials retreat.

If you’re reading this from a new generation touch-screen tablet you should not miss ‘Dirty Secrets’.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Duration: 27mn 3s
  • Filesize: 373 MiB
  • Format: Matroska
  • Video Codec: x264 core 93 r1542 5b86182
  • Video Bitrate: 1 800 Kbps
  • Video Resolution: 1008 x 568
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Frames Per Second: 25.000
  • Bits-(Pixel*Frame) 0.126
  • Audio Codec: AAC
  • Audio Bitrate: 128 kb/s 48KHz
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Audio language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Source: DVB-T
  • Capture: DVBViewer
  • Demuxer: ProjectX
  • Encoder: Avidemux 2.5.3
  • SubMux: MKVMerge

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