On June 4th and 5th, 1989, the Chinese government violently put down the pro-liberty Tiananmen Square student protest. One man stood alone against a column of tanks, and for his extraordinary heroism became known as “Tank Man,” though nothing more is known about his identity. Some say he was arrested and killed, others that he is still in prison in China, and still others that he is alive and in hiding. Regardless, he has become a symbol for resistance against tyranny.
Tank Man is a powerful short film (15 min.) dramatizing events leading up to his moment of extraordinary courage. He is little known in China, where all images of him have been erased and all mention of him banned. This film does him some small justice.
Per the film’s official website, “Tank Man is a short film that was inspired by the actions of a single man who was willing to thwart the progress of one of the most powerful governments on the planet. Millions have been inspired by the photos and video footage capturing his brave stand. An amazing team has been assembled to pay homage to this inspiring soul. At the end of the film, the audience will be shaken by what they saw. They will also be inspired. They will put themselves in the place of Tank Man, knowing that there may come a time when they are called to fight for freedom. They will know that they too can do it. And they will be ready.”
This short clip gives more details about Tank Man and what happened to him.
The documentary Moving the Mountain tells the full story of Tiananmen Square, and of the protesters who survived the massacre.