FRONTLINE, Hardcash Productions, ITV
FRONTLINE’s chilling documentary, China Undercover, captures modern totalitarianism at its most perniciously evil. In arresting an estimated two million Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region and putting them in concentration camps, the Chinese government has engaged in what experts say is the largest mass incarceration of an ethnic group since the Holocaust. The undercover reporting captures Chinese state voices arguing that the Uyghur “don’t have human rights” because they are “not considered human.” But the documentary also makes the case that this is a massive experiment in developing the most complete surveillance state in history. Working with Chinese technology companies, the government employs surveillance technologies such as advanced predictive algorithmic facial recognition software, cameras on every street corner, and houses marked with digital barcodes to monitor and ultimately detain Muslims whose behavior is “predicted” as threatening. The implications for human rights abuses extend far beyond the Chinese border. For exposing the world’s most threatening totalitarian government through dangerous undercover reporting, China Undercover wins a Peabody.