When everything returned to normal and there were no more aftershocks, there was a documentary at the institute’s theater. The movie was about the big earthquake in the northeast, for research purposes. Only adults could go in. I was about 15 years old and was really interested in seeing the movie too. So, I took my mom’s work clothes and a hat and coat. The scenes of the movie were horrifying. The whole city was leveled like after a major war. It was interesting to know that most tunnels were in perfect shape and a lot of coal miners survived. The homes with basements also did better than those without. It was said that the houses with basements blended in with the earth and became one unit.
Not only did millions die from this natural disaster; the Chinese government’s three most important leaders including Chairman Mao also died that year. Some said it was because of the “year of the dragon.” The year 1976 became our country’s turning point as well as mine.
I knew this movie "Aftershock". I did not have courage to watch this movie because so many of people I knew and worked with died in 2008 Sichuan Earthquake. I worked in the area 4 years before I came to the US in 1986. Frank recommended me to watch this movie after he and his wife watched it. Great one!
Aftershock (Tangshan Dadizhen)