The era of Communist China and the Cultural Revolution Essays

The era of Communist China and the Cultural Revolution Essays

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The era of Communist China and the Cultural Revolution (1949-1976) marked a significant period in the history of China. Ongoing conflict between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Nationalist Party, Kuomintang (KMT), led to the Chinese Civil War (1945-1949). In 1949, the CPC, who allied closely with the Soviet Union, defeated the Nationalist Party and took control of mainland China. CPC’s leader Mao Zedong established the People’s Republic of China which is also commonly known today as Communist China (“History of China”).
Mao Zedong and the CPC supported socialism and Marxism-Leninist theories. Mao realized the need for social reconstruction and adopted the Soviet model for development. Despite the technical and economic problems China faced, Mao was aware of the cultural and political difficulties of the country’s development. “He believed that only through controlled conflict could China sustain social change” (Solomon 250).
After multiple failed attempts throughout the 1950s and early 1960s to enforce communism, including the Great Leap Forward which caused the Great Chinese Famine and killed tens of millions of people, Mao set into motion a social-political movement known as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (“Cultural Revolution”). The Revolution was launched in 1966 in fears of a new elite coming through and in an attempt to reassert his authority. Mao ordered the purge of anyone who did not fully support him and threatened his socialist framework. He sought “to create a China which had peasants, workers and educated people working together – no-one was better than anyone else and all working for the good of China – a classless society” (Trueman). As a result, Mao focused on enforcing a purification of the C...


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... as “Rightists” who tried to portray anticommunist ideals. This process was called the “Anti-Rightist Campaign” (Zhang 207).
The loosening of screenplay production regulations allowed for the expansion and development of genres and styles throughout socialist cinema. As well as the already established genres of drama, comedy and thriller, biography, children’s film, myth, musical, opera movie and docu-drama were experimented with during this phase. However, it is important to note that the stylistic nature of films came secondary. Throughout social cinema filmmakers were hindered due to “a direct service to politics, a lack of psychological depth, and a distance from the artistic achievements of foreign films” (Zhang 212).This was all due to the significant power of Mao and the CPC.
The third phase, the Cultural Revolution (1966-78), suspended all feature production

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