TELEVISION / BRIEFING: Charting citizens' lives

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The Independent Culture
In a project similar to that wickedly parodied recently by Tracy Ullman, CITIZEN 2000 (8pm C4) charts the lives of 20 British children, from their births in 1982 until they attain majority in the year 2000. 'The Last Resort' could not be further removed from the Jonathan Ross programme of that title. Produced by Catherine Freemantle and Annie McDonald, this moving film captures a year in the life of 10-year-old Rachel, who suffers from cerebral palsy. Her parents have opted for a 'salvage operation' to remove Rachel's right hip joint; the aim is to enable her to sit more comfortably. Kevin, her father, has to take sick leave from work to cope with the stress of the operation. Meanwhile, Denise, her mother, soldiers on, cheering up her daughter with videos of Summer Holiday and fairground rides. 'Just because they're handicapped,' she asserts, 'you don't have to treat them like jelly.'

ARENA (9.30pm BBC2) this week boasts the world's first documentary on Chinese film director Zhang Yimou (Red Sorghum, Raise the Red Lantern, Yellow Earth). His latest work, The Story of Qiu Ju, will be released in Britain in May. Director Christopher Bruce interviewed the film-maker and his regular collaborators in China, where most of his films - two of which have been nominated for an Oscar - have been banned.

(Photograph omitted)

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