It has been 30 years since the brutal crackdown on student protestors by Chinese authorities at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Although the Chinese government has run a 30-year-long campaign to erase the bloody massacre from history books in the country, many people who were witnesses to the event are striving to make sure it is not easily forgotten.
As part of this effort, Canadian journalist Arthur Kent released newly restored footage he had shot on July 4, 1989 as the People’s Liberation Army opened fire on the protestors. According to the Hong Kong Free Press, Kent was working as a freelance journalist for The Observer, CBC News and NBC News and was sent to cover the demonstrations. The 13-minute film, called Black Night In June showed protestors scrambling as gunfire rang out across the central square in Beijing.
“That is my first, best hope with the film. To remind people what the protesters endured that night. The feeling of running for your life, of witnessing a vast, heavily-armed machine of repression and punishment simply crushing an entire generation’s quest for freedom,” Kent said.
The massacre marked the end of months of student-led demonstrations which called for freedom of speech and economic reforms, among other things. The actual number of deaths remains unknown but estimates have ranged from hundreds to about 10,000 people.