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The Cultural Impact of the Yan'an Talks on Chinese Film - Assignment Example

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Name Instructor Course Date The Cultural Impact of the Yan’an Talks on Chinese Film If there is one man who can be said to have the greatest impact on the history of Modern China, it would have to be Mao Zedong. Chairman Mao believed that the future of China lay in embracing the ideals of communism, and when he came into power as leader of the Communist Party of China, set about enforcing policies and programs that reflected those ideals…
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Download file to see previous pages When he came into power, he made this belief known to the people in his 1942 speech, popularly known as the Yan’an Talks on Literature and Art. The primary purpose of the Yan’an Talks was to lay out the guidelines for literature and art in Communist China. The Talks detailed what kind of subject matter was acceptable to produce, the themes that should be discussed, and the target audience to be reached. In Chairman Mao’s words, “through the creative labour of revolutionary writers and artists, the raw materials found in the life of the people are shaped into the ideological form of literature and art serving the masses of the people” (“Talks”). The ideas outlined in the Yan’an Talks heavily influenced all forms of literature and art that emerged from China from the 1940s onwards, as evidenced by three notable Chinese films: Red Sorghum, Farewell My Concubine, and To Live. Red Sorghum, which was released in 1987 by Xi’an Film Studio, is a story that takes place in Shandong, China during World War II. It is about the life and death of a widowed sorghum distillery owner named Jiu’er. ...
After some time, Li Datou dies under suspicious circumstances, and Jiu’er inherits ownership of the distillery. She is reunited with her rescuer, who has become an alcoholic whose drunkenness causes him to commit shameful acts like urinating in the sorghum wine. The story of Red Sorghum takes a darker turn at this point, with Japanese Imperial troops arriving and taking over the town. They commit various heinous acts of violence, at one point forcing one of the villagers to skin someone else alive. Angered, the people of the village revolt by attempting an ambush, during which many people, among them Jiu’er, are killed. The film makes use of bright, vivid, and detailed imagery, particularly in the violent scenes, to bring home the themes of revolution and resistance to foreign power. The Imperial Japanese troops – whom Mao named as the enemy in the Yan’an Talks – are depicted as heartless and brutal, and in the end unable to defeat the strong resistance spirit of the villagers. The movie was also filmed with a technique that gave the entire movie a reddish tint, symbolizing both the death and violence wrought by the Japanese as well as the crimson colour of the sorghum fields which at the end of the movie are slowly growing again. Farewell My Concubine is a 1993 epic-length film that tells the story of a fifty-year friendship between two orphan boys, Douzi and Shitou, as they rise to acclaim as actors in China’s Peking Opera during the time from World War II all the way to communist China’s Cultural Revolution. Douzi is trained into female roles and assumes the stage name Cheng Dieyi, while Shitou assumes masculine roles under the name Duan Xiaolou. Eventually Dieyi’s roles translate into real life ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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