A documentary film, The Cotton Road, directed by Laura Kissel was shown on March 18th at the Woodrow Wilson Center as part of the 23rd Environmental Film Festival in Washington. The film takes viewers on a journey with cotton from South Carolina to China that tries to stitch together some answers. More than 160 films from 31 countries are screened to promote dialogue and build understanding of environmental challenges and opportunities.

The film, which took six years to make, tells stories about "ordinary people",Kissel said. Scenes in the Chinese factories, in particular, explore several issues, from the plight of migrant workers and young workers missing out on education to poor salaries and benefits and unfair working conditions. "It's a global machine we built," said Jennifer Turner, director of the China Environment Forum of the Wilson Center. "It's both beautiful and ugly."

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Photo credit: Liu Chang / China Daily