PBS - Frontline/World - Shanghai Nights (2004)

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The neon lights of modern-day Shanghai are so bright that you can wear sunglasses even in the darkest hour of night: The city, the largest and wealthiest in China, has changed enormously in recent years. Frontline/World reporter Nguyen Qui Duc, a native of Vietnam, is no stranger to the changing face of communism. And he has come to Shanghai because he has heard that young people, especially artists, are no longer accepting the old rules. He wants to see how far they've been able to push the limits.

For a guide, Duc turns to one of China's most celebrated young writers, Mian Mian, who has offered to take him inside her world, the youth underground of Shanghai. Government censors call Mian Mian "a poster child for spiritual pollution," but inside the city's nightclubs, she's a pop diva, queen of the clubs. She's notorious for writing openly about sex, drugs, and rock and roll -- still touchy subjects in China. The government banned her novel, Candy, which only made the "bad girl of Shanghai" more famous and her novel a clandestine best-seller.

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