2022 Student Research Conference:
35th Annual Student Research Conference

The Chinese Cultural Revolution: A Retrospective View

Anna R. Brown*, Jiawen Xu, and Jade A. Marceau
Dr. Zhijun Wen and Gregory Richter, Faculty Mentors

The films Coming Home and To Live, directed by the fifth-generation Chinese film director Zhang Yimou, critique and interpret the societal impact of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. This socio-political movement, initiated by Mao Zedong, carried out forced displacement of people, persecution of intellectuals, and public humiliation and execution. The effects of the movement are portrayed in To Live when Fengxia dies during labor because the hospital’s doctor has been arrested as a counter-revolutionary. In Coming Home, Wanyu suffers permanent memory loss and cannot recognize her husband. In launching the Cultural Revolution, the main consideration was to prevent the restoration of capitalism and to seek China’s own way of building socialism. As a consequence of ten years of damage and unrest throughout the country, China’s economy, political realm, citizens, and culture remain deeply scarred. This research revisits the history of the Cultural Revolution, its impacts, and its portrayal in Chinese film.

Keywords: Cultural Revolution, Communist Party, China, Mao Zedong, film, Chinese, socialism, capitalism

Asian Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: 302-4
Location: SUB GEO A
Time: 2:00

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