The "Free China" Junk Video
The "Free China" Junk

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The "Free China" Junk (2012)

Only available in Canada, United States

A Chinese junk a great ship? At first you wouldn't think so, but in 1955 a crew of five Chinese fishermen (Reno Chen, Paul Chow, Loo-chi Hu, Benny Hsu, and skipper Marco Chung) sailed a half-century-old Chinese junk, named "Free China," 5,700 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean from Taiwan to San Francisco without sailing experience, and the sixth crew member, a young American Vice-Consul, Calvin Mehlert, filmed the journey. The junk and the adventure made front-page news internationally.

Four years in the making, this documentary not only captures the adventure of the "Free China" story, which highlights the many challenges the crew faced, including typhoons and other sailing mishaps, but also reflects on the subtle relations between Communist China, Formosa (today, Taiwan) and the United States; remembering it was the same year the United States passed the Formosa Resolution, committing to defend Formosa as a matter of American foreign policy.

Mostly though, this is the incredible true story of a crew's adventurous spirit to explore the wider world beyond Formosa. Here, through incredible footage shot by junk-mate Calvin, along with in-depth interviews with the crew, this inspiring program celebrates and immortalizes their collective story and epic maritime achievement.

Robin Greenberg

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