Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Cultural Revolution film

I just came across what seems to be a gem of Cultural Revolution propaganda that's now available on YouTube. I have only had the opportunity to look at one "episode," but it looks like there is some promising teaching material in this old movie.

It's a film made in '76 (near the end of the Cultural Revolution) called Breaking with Old Ideas. The Yahoo film guide says it's "One of the most controversial dramatic films produced in China during the cultural revolution, "Breaking" is about the struggle to Democratize education in the countryside..."

On YouTube, you can see and download scenes from the Breaking with Old Ideas page.

Answers.com quotes Hal Erickson's All Movie Guide about the film, "Breaking With Old Ideas is thought-provoking fare from the People's Republic of China. Filmed during the twilight of Mao's cultural revolution, the film explores the challenge of "re-educating" a populace ruled by centuries-old tradition. A remote rural community, representing a microcosm of thought and behavior patterns, is scrutinized. Government representatives construct a state-of-the-art college, where the peasants are to be redoctrinated. Obviously slanted in favor of the Red party line, Breaking With Old Ideas is nonetheless a fascinating cultural capsule."


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