Heaven is a tale of an orphanage in a rural China, combined with a personal testimony of an award-winning ournalist Tomas Etzler. The raw reality of daily life which Tomas encountered as a Beijing based producer for CNN and a Czech TV correspondent during his seven years in China contrasts sharply with a microcosm of kindness and unconditional love he discovered in a semi-legal orphanage for handicapped children in Chinese countryside. With working conditions for journalists and filmmakers deteriorating rapidly in China, Heaven provides an uncommon and very hard to obtain glimpse into 21st century China. It also indirectly contributes to a global debate about values and human right in the increasingly divided world.
“My job brings me joy and satisfaction and I have always believed in it. But the essence of TV journalism can also be very frustrating in that the most powerful and interesting stories usually have to be crammed into a two-minute reportage. This is one of the reasons why I have always been attracted to documentary filmmaking.” – Tomáš Etzler
Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival: Audience Award
Finále Plzeň: Student Jury Award
Czech Lion: Best documentary (nomination)
Tomáš Etzler (1963) is a television news/documentary producer, correspondent, writer and a news editor with work experiences in more than 60 countries. served as Czech Television’s correspondent from 2006 to 2014. He has also worked as a foreign reporter for CNN in Iraq and Afghanistan. Based in Beijing covering China and entire Asia from October 2006 to March 2014. In 2008, he was the first Czech journalist to receive an Emmy. In 2021 he completed a feature documentary Heaven and published a bestselling book about a life of a foreign correspondent in China.