Jiabiangou Elegy recounts the persecution of inmates at the Jiabiangou labor camp in Jiuquan, Gansu province, and examines the way the victims’ final affairs were handled. During the Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957–59, over three thousand people were sent to Jiabiangou for re-education through labor. These people were labeled rightists, counterrevolutionaries, and anti-party dissidents. Over a three-year period, more than two thousand died from abuse and hunger; only a few hundred were rescued in the end. The film includes interviews with the few remaining Jiabiangou survivors and their children, and presents the conflict between the preservation and destruction of memory.
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