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Understanding Modern China: A Deep Dive into China's 3 Dreams

China's 3 Dreams provides an enlightening exploration into the changing face of China, offering a unique blend of history, personal narratives, and future aspirations.

Keywords: China, Cultural Revolution, Red Guards, contemporary China, dreams, identity, history, future, personal narratives


"China's 3 Dreams" is a thought-provoking documentary by award-winning director Nick Torrens, released in 2014. This film provides a unique perspective on the changing face of China, as it navigates through its complex history and its impact on the present and future. The significance of this documentary lies in its relevance to understanding the socio-political dynamics of a country that dominates the global stage today.


The documentary takes us on an enlightening journey as it explores the three new dreams guiding China's youth: the dream of the present, to make China rich and powerful, the dream of the future, to find a personally better life; and the seemingly impossible dream of the past, a dream of a meaningful existence. The film uncovers the confusion experienced by its subjects, resulting from the sanitised history they learned in school. Through rare archive footage and powerful personal testimonies from former Red Guards, the documentary questions the impact of the past on the present.

More Film Analysis



Torrens adopts an investigative approach to this documentary, skilfully intertwining historical context with personal narratives. The research is thorough, the subject exploration is deep, and the presentation style is both engaging and respectful.

Historical and Factual Context


To fully appreciate the context of "China's 3 Dreams", it's helpful to understand the Cultural Revolution in China, and the role of the Red Guards. Further exploration of China's economic transformation in the late 20th century will also provide valuable insights.

Key themes in the film

  • The struggle between the past and the future in shaping the present
  • The personal impact of national history and politics
  • The search for individual identity within a collective society
  • The changing dreams and aspirations of contemporary China

Film Comparisons

Unlike other films on iWonder that focus on specific aspects of China, "China's 3 Dreams" provides a comprehensive exploration of the past, present, and future, making it a unique viewing experience.

Noteworthy Moments

One particularly enlightening moment in the documentary is the personal testimonies of the former Red Guards, shedding light on a relatively unexplored aspect of China's history.


The documentary was positively received for its insightful exploration of modern China. Specific review quotes were not provided.


"China's 3 Dreams" is a must-watch for anyone seeking to understand the complexities of contemporary China. It is particularly relevant for those interested in socio-political dynamics and history.

More film information:


  • Genre: Documentary



  • Nick Torrens - Award-winning director
  • Subjects - Chinese youth navigating their dreams and identity



  • China - modern cities and rural areas

Key Questions Raised by the Film

  1. How does a nation's past shape its present and future?
  2. What is the role of individual dreams in a collective society?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. A famous book, it would be "1984" by George Orwell - because of the exploration of individual identity in a collective society.
  2. A famous song, it would be "Imagine" by John Lennon - pointing to the dreams and aspirations of a better future.
  3. A famous piece of art, it would be Picasso's "Guernica" - reflecting the struggle and chaos of a transformative period.
  4. A famous celebrity, it would be Jackie Chan - representing China's global presence and influence.
  5. A colour, it would be red - symbolising China's history and its cultural significance.
  6. A music style, it would be a symphony - reflecting the complexity and layers of the story it tells.