Law of the Dragon


Also available as 4 x 30 min.

The Law of the Dragon examines the way in which the Chinese legal system is trying to cope with the myriad recent dramatic changes to Chinese life and society by following the fortunes of a provincial legal practice, the Tiger Law Firm of Chengdu.


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Law of the Dragon

Law of the Dragon

Justice must prevail

Law of the Dragon is a rare and unforgettable insight into the lives of China’s rural poor as seen through the prism of the country’s legal system. This is China neglected by the western media; the China far from the centres of government and production; the China left behind in the great industrial leap of the last 20 years.

Following on from the success of The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World, Law of the Dragon will once more bring a new perspective to the lives of the billion Chinese people who make up the twenty-first century’s most powerful nation.

At the heart of The Law of the Dragon stands the austere Judge Chen, who journeys with his team of court officials along mud tracks and grit roads, often having to be dug out by the locals, to ensure that justice is served.

Their court is wherever they hang the national emblem, be it nailed up in the fields or stuck up in the plaintiff’s house. Squatting on rocks amongst a farmers crops to advise him on his rights might seem primitive and even faintly ridiculous, but to the people he deals with, Judge Chen is the law.

Chinese society is changing fast and the stories which The Law of the Dragon will tell will reflect those changes. In the family courts we will meet newly-divorced couples, some liberated from loveless arranged marriages, others facing a grim future separated from the only child who would traditionally have made a home for them.

Businessmen raised in the former command economy confront the vicissitudes of bankruptcy or labour disputes, while thieves find opportunities as the gulf between the new rich and the poor creates a boom in so-called ‘crimes of envy’.

Directed by the award-winning documentary director Weijun Chen (Please Vote For Me, The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World), The Law of the Dragon will portray all drama, the high and lows, the strains and stresses that affect families and businesses alike daily as they seek to navigate the labyrinthine Chinese judiciary.

Director Weijun Chen
Producer Lawrence Elman
Produced by Amber Entertainment Ltd & Drive Thru Pictures for BBC & DR
Duration 1 x 60 min. & 4 x 30 min.
Year of Production 2011
Original Title Law of the Dragon