Grand Angle Productions

The silver dragon

This is one of nature’s most unusual features: an inland wave far from the sea or the ocean. A wave that comes up the river against the current. A wave that the inhabitants of Qiantang have both feared and admired for 2,000 years. The Silver Dragon – or Chinese tidal bore – is not a wave that is easily tamed or understood. The phenomenon arises from the meeting of the incoming tide and the river’s outgoing current. The wave invades the estuary and comes up the river, filling it with a swirling wave. It has long brought destruction. With terrible power, the wave breaks dams and spreads turbid salt water into the fields. Famines have been frequent. The very votive population has begged its forgiveness, offered sacrifices, or shot arrows in its direction. Adopting transient aesthetic shapes, the tidal bore curls, tacks, accelerates, rolls, and defies all predictions. It thunders like a storm, jumps out when least expected, and draws the admiration of scientists. Today, dams and gigantic walls attempt to contain its undiminished power, and a festival honouring the spirits of the sea illustrates the renewed peace with the phenomenon.

Data sheet

Poster of The silver dragon

Director : Philippe Lespinasse 

Producers : Grand Angle Productions 

Co-producers : France Télévisions 

Country of production : France

Year : 2008

Format : HD

Duration : 33'