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Inspirational stories of love

By Wang Qian | China Daily | Updated: 2022-07-14 07:49
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The documentary shows students congratulating physical education teacher Bai Jian in Anshan, Liaoning province, after his wife gave birth. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Fear and hope mix in a popular documentary series on eight people who overcome incredible challenges, Wang Qian reports.

The documentary Second Life tells the stories of eight people who have faced and beaten overwhelming odds.

The eight-episode series includes how Zhan Xulian spent more than 18 years before reuniting with her son who was kidnapped at the age of 4; how physical education teacher Bai Jian changed the lives of more than 120 children and teenagers through running; how He Huajie sought the strength to accept his new life in a wheelchair after a car accident and how Mao Hui returned to his family and society after 11 years behind bars.

The series also covers social issues about the boom of plastic surgery, surging divorce rates and migrant workers in big cities. The documentary team spent almost two years to observe how ordinary people reconcile with their traumatic past and manage to move on.

"In Second Life, we try to explore a variety of possibilities in life that need people to open their minds and endeavor to overcome their situations," says Zhang Hao, producer of the documentary, adding that "second life" in the title refers to the rebuilding of lives.

Premiered online on China Central Television and video-streaming platform Bilibili on May 19, and Dragon TV on May 24, the series has earned critical acclaim.

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