A former celebrity TV presenter has released a self-funded documentary about smog, inspired by her sick daughter.
Chai Jing's one-year project, Under the Dome, marks a comeback for the former presenter and journalist with China Central Television following the birth of her child. It adds a sentimental touch to a matter of public interest with Chai not only an independent observer but also a concerned mother.
After ending a decade with the state broadcaster early last year, Chai shunned public attention to focus on taking care of her daughter, who was diagnosed with a tumor as a fetus and underwent surgery as a new-born baby.
"I saw smog through my daughter's eyes," Chai said while presenting her film. She recounted how the little girl was confined indoors, patting the window to vent her frustration at being unable to play outside.
The public is no stranger to Chai criticizing pollution-plagued areas notably the northern province of Shanxi, her coal-rich hometown, which helped build her image as an environmental advocate.
Chai said she hopes the 103-minute film will serve as an answer to three questions about smog – what is smog, where does it come from and what to do about it.
It's also the answer that she's been preparing for her daughter.
Chai became a household name through in-depth investigative reporting of big national news stories such as the SARS outbreak, Wenchuan earthquake and coal mine accidents.