Mao's Bloody Revolution - documentary

Mao's Bloody Revolution
Rated 80
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Mao's Bloody Revolution: A film created by British journalist and author Philip Short about the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution conducted by Chinese leader Mao Zedong.


The documentary opens with the rise of the Communist Party of China which under Mao took control of the country in 1949. The centrepiece of the story begins in 1966 when leader Mao commanded the country into a cultural revolution with the belief that the Maoist ideology he fought to bring about initially was being eroded away. Calling on China's working class and youths in education (a fundamental aspect of the Maoist movement) to purge the "impurities" in Chinese society which sparked yet another civil war that continued for ten years until Mao's death in 1976.


This bloody movement started in August 1966 when all schools in China were shut down by Mao, who called for students attending to take action against political leaders who had lost the communist revolutionary spirit. This quickly escalated with the formation of paramilitary groups which started attacking everyone who they thought did not believe in their group identity, ultimately leading to the deaths of an untold number of people.


"The Bloody Revolution" echoes that of Stalin's power grab in Russia which was built on a not too dissimilar cult of personality; driven by the thought of only your collective group identity mattering and not as an individual. Those not supporting the ideals of the group or those who do not agree with its standpoints are seen as the "impurities" and somehow inferior.

Philip Short
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