The following are a few examples of feedback we have received from students, teachers, civic and government leaders and others from the U.S. and internationally who have participated in CITIZENARTS educational forums. More testimonials can be found on the individual educational documentary pages on this site.
What a wonderful event at Harvard! We all appreciated the film and the informative and inspiring (and lively!) discussion and debate that followed. We look forward to many more CITIZENARTS forums in Cambridge.
-Bruno, University professor, Cambridge, MA
Your forums are excellent material for teachers to generate discussions in class with students while they are studying China and the US. We can't wait for the next forum!
-Shenzhan, Director Confucius Institute at China Institute, New York, NY
Some works stay relevant even with the passage of time, and others are quickly forgotten. CITIZENARTS films and forums stand out as events to remember.
-Milan, Business executive, Mumbai, India
Pacific Destiny is a great documentary and offers new perspectives. I am impressed by your understanding of Chinese culture. Thanks for addressing my questions during the event.I think your project has huge potential to help people in both China and US.
-Dongxin, Executive, Northridge, CA
The audience at our school included members of different races, nationalities, ages, genders, and political affinities. The film broadened the perspectives of all who attended the forum, but equally effective was the respectful discussion that followed which brought to light questions, concerns, and suggestions for improving communications and understandings.
-BJ, High school teacher, Baltimore, MD
Our sincere gratitude to CITIZENARTS for collaborating for the Conference. The presentation was well received, along with the discussions and the viewpoints shared. The documentary is comprehensive, timely, relevant, highly informative and deeply engaging. We appreciate that CITIZENARTS is taking keen interest in India and China and shares goals of enhancing people-people linkages among the two nations. We are looking forward to continued interaction with CITIZENARTS including virtual forums!
-Asma, Think tank research officer, Chennai, India
What an exciting forum! This event was an inspiration for our students and a perfect discussion platform for our current area of study, globalization.
-Luther, Director of university lectures, New York, NY
I want to go into politics. Before seeing this film and participating in this forum, I thought I wanted to represent the members of my party, but after this, I want to represent everyone because everyone deserves to be heard.
-Tom, High school student, Baltimore, MD
The filmmakers went after humanity. It could’ve been another of those head to heads, showing how this place and these people are different from those places and people. That’s what we hear all the time. But as we explored in the discussion forum, if you point out the folly in our tendency to make people others, and you don’t ask divisive questions and just focus on basic views and values — you see how everybody is saying the same thing. And isn’t that much more compelling and informative and constructive...?
-Maureen, College Student, Boston, MA
Thank you for sharing such an insightful experience with us. The forum was incredible and put a lot about the giant that is China into sharp focus for me.
-Reda, Telecommunications executive, London, UK
I lived in China for sometime and I think you really do capture the spirit of China. Your presentation is just so gutsy and so much fun. You have some of the best visuals of China I’ve ever seen! The forum was fantastic and it was wonderful to see our students to engaged.
Suzanne, Political science professor and department Chair, Boston, MA
The message that most resonates from the forum is that we are one humanity, and that it would be just wonderful and in everyone’s interest if we could just stop for a moment to accept and appreciate that – and then interact with each other in a way guided by this recognition. Making the effort to simply see each other as each of us desires to be seen, without artificially influenced prejudices and biases – setting this as a goal and understanding that it is, in fact, achievable. There just has to be willingness to make it happen.
-Joe, Retired military officer, Raleigh, NC
These educational forums are fantastic. I would recommend it to exchange students, businessmen, and anyone else coming to live and work in China for the first time. I think it is also an excellent resource for USA/Canada-based students in high school and universities who are studying current events in East Asia.
-Dijana, Social Studies Teacher, Shanghai, China
The event was a great success! The discussion following the film with director Jim Gabbe aroused enormous interest and enthusiasm from the large student audience. The back and forth between the panel and audience about China and United States was indeed thought provoking.
-Qingyun, Coordinator of University Chinese Program, Los Angeles, CA
This film is absolutely amazing and it is unbelievable! Through the unique perspective of foreigners and using the most abundant language, the film perfectly captures what is happening in China. The content is rich; the view is broad; the structure is unique; the design is special; the commentary is clear, and the style is attractive. These forums are a great contribution to the cultural exchanges between USA and China will be remembered forever.
-Xiaoman, Research Scientist, Cambridge, MA
Thank you again for the forum last night. I have received great feedback from the students. It was a unique opportunity for them to get a panoramic view of modern day China, and then you did a wonderful job of tying it to their personal experiences thus far during the audience forum. And had us laughing too!
-Charlie, University professor, Shanghai, China
I salute the heart and soul CITIZENARTS has put into this work. Your documentary radiated wisdom and a depth of understanding. A true piece of art — a combination of ideas and creativity. Coming away from this forum, it is easy to predict what an impact this film and discussion will have on the audience—the young generation in particular. This forum will help people comprehend China’s experiences and successes/failures – and will add to their understanding and ability to work with China in a constructive, harmonious way.
-Hong, Economics instructor and entrepreneur, Boston, MA
A big thank you to everyone that made this forum a great success. What an incredible discussion! The response has been tremendous and we are looking forward to doing it again soon.
-Joseph, Museum program director, New York, NY
During the film and discussion, I felt so many moments of reflection and revelation. Things that are comparable to our middle class here. One student commented to me that she watched a Chinese news program recently and saw the program in a very different light and she credits the documentary for that.
-Nancy, University administrator, Boston, MA
Thank you for presenting such a wonderful event! The film received many laughs and positive responses, and the discussion panel lasted for an hour past our scheduled time and could have kept going (thank you for your flexibility)! My Chinese students told me it gave them a new perspective to rebuild the image about China in this stage of change. And my Western students told me it has opened their eyes to their many misunderstandings of modern China. Job well done!
-Bei, University professor, Dallas, TX
It was a great opportunity to attend the forum here in London. The film was really fabulous and the discussion following was even better!
-Sidd, Banking executive, London, UK
The film presented at the forum is absolutely fantastic. It’s not PBS preachy. It’s informative and has large audience appeal because it’s user friendly. Someone who doesn't know where China is on a map can get into this and learn. And the quick pace of the film complements the fast pace of China’s growth. That, along with your funny, irreverent, sardonic approach, places you where you want to be in telling a story in this era. You have a terrific film on a critical topic that is audience friendly — and that was obvious from the discussion during the forum.
-Bill Filmmaker and university professor, Boston, MA
This film looks at China from a different perspective. While many Westerners still hold negative stereotypes about China and the Chinese, this documentary shows a much more complete, fair and balanced presentation of a developing China. It was amazing to be a part of the discussion as I could actually hear a changing mindset among the mostly Western audience. This forum makes a very positive contribution to a better understanding of my country!
-Weiwei, University student, Providence, RI
We thoroughly enjoyed attending the forum this evening. It was provocative and interesting film and the deep knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject by CITIZENARTS really shines through!
-Stan, Financial executive, San Francisco, USA
The forum was incredible and inspired many questions and thoughts from the students. The condensed version of the film is so good that we want to make the whole film available for all our students to see at the library. Please come back some time soon with your other projects.
-Weimin, University professor, Northridge, CA
This forum was uplifting and inspirational — and that’s confirmed by the comments I heard from a number of people who I spoke to later that evening! Thank you this and the insights into amazing people from all walks of life.
-Richard, Business executive, New York, NY
I have loved America from the time I came here from China 30 years ago, and this film smakes me only more proud and lucky to be surrounded by the beautiful people the film has reflected. America’s assets are its people and the foundation laid down by our Founding Fathers. I am confident our Founding Fathers all agree with me with a big smile from above.
-Hong, Teacher and entrepreneur, Cambridge, MA
The film is outstanding and to fully absorb in its entirety I had to view it twice — once at the forum and then again online. This film brings out very strong responses to all topics presented as we saw during the discussion and hopefully, for many viewers, it will be a call to arms. This presentation should be “must see” for not only education (civics and political science) but also freshman orientation for local, state and federal lawmakers to reinforce why they were elected in the first place.
-William, CEO, Falmouth, MA
I am so pleased with what I saw during this forum. The diversity of America was amply illustrated in the film and the comments from it, and the discussion, were intriguing. The ending of the film, when the interviewees offered their prescriptions for what ails America, really hit me. The topic is timely and valuable.
-George, Former senator and foundation founder, Washington DC
You’ve done a great job capturing the thoughts, feelings, and ideas of many people here in the USA. The film and discussion made me laugh, smile, and tear up, but mostly I feel proud to be an American! The freedom to think and voice our own likes and dislikes within reasonable means makes us true Americans. It’s not that we are a divided, two-way country, but a country filled with many dreams and plans to make many choices and build many good ideas to help America grow.
-Melissa, Vintner, Paso Robles, CA
It’s so amazing to see that even with all diverse backgrounds in our country, so many of us can agree on many things. It really shows that the American people can and will make an impact on our society when collaborating with each other. Truly inspirational. And thank you for giving Appalachia a voice. It’s not often you get to hear from Appalachians unless it is a documentary showing how hard life is in Appalachia when in reality it has the potential to be a very prosperous and productive region. Thank you for not settling for clichés.
-Tyler, Landscaper, San Antonio, TX
It was truly a thrilling experience to see this film and participate in the discussion. I felt as if I were right there with you seeing everything you were describing through an incredibly vibrant lens. The scale is difficult to comprehend if you haven’t actually seen it, but the visual impact is stunning. The discussion afterwards was so enlightening and I know I’ll be reflecting on all this for a long time to come.
-Karen, Boston, MA
We are truly honored and privileged to have had the opportunity to offer this forum at our university. The film itself is quite an accomplishment, and needless to say it was a unique and unprecedented view into China. It was exciting and gratifying to see and hear the student engagement during the discussion.
-Xavier, College dean, Boston, MA
Thank you so much for coming to campus last night. The forum was a great success with an enthusiastic audience and the a lively, provocative and informative discussion. We can’t wait to have CITIZENARTS back soon.
-Harold, Professor of Chinese History, Denton, TX
A most comprehensive overview! The color, music and majestic scenery was breathtaking. Both the cinematography and narration was so well done and at times hilarious. We believe this informative and unbiased film provides great education value to promote greater understanding between our great countries. We learned so much from the discussion we are now planning a visit to China which was not previously on our “bucket list”!
-Janey, Cambridge, MA
This forum has totally shifted how I view and think about China. It gave me a much broader context which has been really helpful and interesting. The comments and perspectives I heard during the forum have stuck with me for weeks.
-Jeremy, Theatrical producer/director, New York, NY
I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the discussion forum following this terrific film. I have been promoting civic engagement for as long as I can remember — my mantra is, “you get the kind of government you are willing to work for,” and the forum we held the other evening was a fantastic example of “putting in the work!” And my students have expressed to me how much they got out of the forum.
–Michael, University professor, Boston, MA
Well, the film is brilliant. As a viewer, we get to know Americans from many sectors. The film and the discussion gives us an understanding of the feelings of anger and frustration about the dysfunction in our government: feelings that our unique and noble political, economic and cultural institutions and our wondrous heritage are being frayed, squandered and dissipated by a host of seemingly uncontrollable forces. This forum shows clearly there is more to be hopeful about than the media is willing to believe.
-Bill, Communications consultant, Wittman, MD
The forum was very entertaining and informative and certainly changed my view of China — a country I thought I knew.
-Stephen, Attorney, New York, NY
I enjoyed the forum very much. The film is quite an accomplishment and the discussion following was a real eye-opener.
-Myron, Financial editor and broadcaster, New York, NY