Appeal for Films on Cultural Revolution to Be Made
China’s famous film director, Feng Xiaogang, has suggested
the need to make movies on the Cultural Revolution.
This is to be able to reflect on this period of history.
Cultural commentators say that this appeal is valuable.
However, it is hard to be able to make
these under the strict censorship of the
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime.
At a panel meeting on March 6, Feng Xiaogang
made a proposal as a National Committee member
of the People’s Political Consultative Conference.
He said, “Since we could produce the film “Lost in Thailand”,
we can also shoot movies about the Cultural Revolution.
I think such films are good for retrospection,
and we have all experienced that era.”
Netizens commented that lots of Chinese people eagerly
want to know about the truth of the Cultural Revolution.
However, this is a taboo subject for the CCP authorities.
Ye Kuangzheng, cultural critic, China: “Publications
or films involving history over the last decade in China
rarely get approved due to the regimes censorship.
The censorship scope not only covers the era of the
Cultural Revolution and the Anti-Rightists Campaign.
It also covers the Republican period. That is,
productions telling the truth cannot get a green light.”
Mr. Gu, freelancer in China commented that if the films about
the Cultural Revolution can pass through CCP censorship,
it means that the content has been trimmed or
facts have been altered.
These sorts of films get approval
to serve as brainwashing tools.
Mr. Gu: “I don’t think it will allow such films to be made.
If it really permits it, it will change the film theme into one
of ‘the Party is good, but some party members are not good.’
That is, it pushes the blame on a few people, the minority.
But the Party should be always portrayed as a real person,
making efforts to save the Chinese people and China.
In other words, it will continue to fool the public.”
Feng Xiaogang: “I once asked my child about
the Cultural Revolution. He had no idea about it.
This is in fact commonplace among the youngsters.
During a car-smashing incident in Xi’an, someone
pulled the driver out of the car, and beat up him.
That had nothing to do with patriotism.
If nowadays young people still know nothing about the
truth of the Cultural Revolution, and about the disasters
that the Red Guards riots brought to the country, they’ll
respond actively again when another riot is initiated.
They’ll find it’s enjoyable to throw bricks through windows.”
Ye Kuangzheng shares the view.
Ye Kuangzheng: “Now in China, during many
public events, the participants still behave like
people did in the Cultural Revolution.
An important cause is that we’ve never
undergone retrospection on the suffering
caused during the Cultural Revolution.
Nowadays, people should have been educated
on the truth of the history, otherwise, we may
lose the capability to judge our behavior today.”
Ye Kuangzheng remarks on China’s films.
He says that the Chinese films are worsening.
In 2012, China produced nearly 1,000 feature films,
but most of them had very poor box office ratings.
He thinks that only less than 3% of the films
are qualified to compete to win awards.
Ye Kuangzheng: “The history of the past 100 years in China
provides vast amounts of valuable themes to make movies.
That includes lots of stories that happened
during the Cultural Revolution, the Anti-Rightists
Campaigns, and in the era of the ‘Great Famine’.
Any one of them may shock the world.
But this history is a restricted zone, which
has led to very little room for China’s films.”
It is widely viewed that the CCP’s harsh censorship is to
block public access to the truth, so as to stabilize its rule.
Mr. Gu: “Once the truth is unveiled, the CCP’s lack of
ruling legitimacy will be totally exposed in the light.”
Ye Kuangzheng: “For example, a film that truly mirrors
the Republican period will make the public reflect
on the gap between today’s China and that era.
Likewise, if there is a movie which authentically recreates
the evil and the sufferings that happened in 1950s and
1960s, it will also make the regime lose its legitimacy.
This is what it worries about the most, I think.”
The moment of truth will finally arrive, Ye Kuangzheng says.
He advises that the sooner the CCP authorities remove
unblocking of the historical truth, the sooner it may
gain understanding and forgiveness of the people.