China from the Inside: Shifting Nature – 2007 Cine Golden Eagle in the Environment and Natural Science category Best Television Documentary in the 2007 British Environment and Media Awards

China – shortlisted for Best Documentary Series in the 2007 Grierson awards.


“In four gorgeously photographed hours, “China From the Inside” departs from the usual tales of booming factories and avid consumers to reveal other facets of the country: assimilation issues in Tibet, poverty in the countryside, huge environmental concerns, curtailment of religious liberties, sex discrimination, the still-heavy hand of the Communist Party and more.” Joanne Weintraub

press02“Emmy award-winning documentary maker Jonathan Lewis has spent four years gaining access to institutions like prisons, conferences and courtrooms as well as private homes. The result is an extraordinary and fascinating insight.” Sunday Telegraph

“This is the beginning of what looks like an unmissable series on the mysterious leviathan, and what its burgeoning prosperity and confidence may mean for its 1.3 billion people, and for the rest of us. Serious, painstakingly researched, unfashionably willing to credit its audience with intelligence and boasting extraordinary access, this is old school BBC documentary-making and it is marvellous” The Guardian

“Immaculate, painstaking, grown-up television.” Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

“Wonderfully handsome footage of that booming nation… To his credit, Jonathan Lewis’s documentary allowed the Chinese to speak for themselves without editorial comment…” Stephen Pile, The Telegraph

“This landmark series, which has offered a fascinating insight into the world’s most densely populated country, has been enthralling. Tonight it reaches its conclusion with a look at how much freedom the Chinese people really have. Unmissable.” The Sunday Times

“In the rural scenes the raw muddy poverty is so vivid, you can almost touch it. In one wedding-day sequence, a row breaks out between in-laws as the bride’s dowry [furniture, hi-fi, trinkets] is carried from the groom’s village to hers. There’s a farcial slanging match over how many packs of cigarettes the family members lugging the stuff should receive. It’s extraordinary to witness, as are the accounts of terrible hardship delivered by peasant women, always with broad, rueful smiles… a haunting series of vignettes… Powerful and thought provoking” Radio Times choosing China as its Documentary of the Week


I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the China series. It was a fascinating glimpse into a place that I know so little about – so full of gusty characters, remarkable people & extraordinary situations and Paul Cox’s camerawork was exquisite. The series has cropped up in a number of conversations with a ‘did you see that fantastic series on China’, so I know I am not alone in thinking it was one of the best things on television this year! Producer/Director

It was an extraordinary shoot in all sorts of ways. It was easily the most demanding shoot I had done. But the demands on you were at least as great. You were wonderfully self-controlled, humourous and alway with a reserve that enabled you to chat amiably with everyone, especially when there was tension to be resolved. Thank you. Broadcaster/Presenter

Thank you for your professionalism, hard work and moreover your sense of humour – it felt like working with an ally. Very much hope to work with you again. Broadcaster/Presenter

Love Interrupted is finished- it’s pretty good, your filming was totally spectacular. Producer/Director

Have just watched the video. Thank you so much for this lovely record. Susie McKenna – Artistic Director Hackney Empire

A line to thank you for your duty above and beyond in the case of several key sequences in Crime’s Best Friend – they took courage and you were alone in volunteering for this potentially hazardous assignment. I am also very much aware that dramatic sequences in both our Acid House films were your work – you have made a temendous contribution. Series Producer

I just wanted to say a big thank you for your work on Young Peoples Arts Week. The films have gone down really well and the lighting and camera work on the music programme work a treat – a pop video on the cheap as you said! Producer/Director

Thank you so much for all your hard work on the Robbie Burns shoot – I’ve now looked at rushes properly and they are lovely. Producer/Director

I just wanted to thank you for your help with the Animal Experiments film. The sequences in the studio looked stunning and brought real class to the whole film. Producer/Director

Your camerawork and suggestions on the PTCs were excellent. Thanks for taking so much time and trouble over them. Producer/Director.


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