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reception of the songs as remembered in post-Cultural Revolution China. Introduction songs composed between the early years of the Communist Party and the beginning of is red" (Dongfanghong), "Song of liberation" (Fanshen daoqing), and nostalgia increased during the s as individuals reflected upon the.
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The film is a subjective recollection about a group of friends who meet when their Army dads are shipped out to support Chairman Mao in , recollections embellished by the narrator's fanciful memory. Steeped in eroticism and youth violence, it is a sharp turn from the melodramatic epics of the early s that interpreted China's past as a time of sexual repression. The film stars year old Yu Xia as "Monkey" Ma Xiaojun, a rebellious teenager who is a stand-in for the director as a young man. Xia whose name translates as 'Summer Rain' won the award for best actor at the Venice Film Festival, the youngest actor ever to win this award.
Narrated by the director who is also a popular Chinese actor, the opening narration tells us that "Peking has changed so fast. In 20 years, it's become a modern city. Almost nothing is as I remembered. Change has wiped out my memories. I can't tell what's imagined from what's real. In the Heat of the Sun. In the raging storms of Revolution. The soldiers' hearts turn towards the sun. He imagines himself standing up to bullies and enemies of the state in an imagined World War III and, in his fantasy, is willing to die for his country and his honor with women.
He fights for his group, sending a rival gang member to the hospital for a month, sneaks into people's apartments with a self-made key though he never steals anything , and watches films banned as inappropriate for children by the authorities. Monkey's main focus, unsurprisingly, is a girl whose portrait hanging on the wall of an apartment he let himself into is immediately captivating.
His pursuit of Mi Lan Ning Jing , who is a few years older than him, is, however, fraught with rejection, jealousy of group leader Liu Yiku, and passion that veers out of control. Although Jiang problematically redefines the Cultural Revolution as a period of spontaneity and freedom rather than dislocation and chaos, the film is not about politics but about the perilous transition from adolescence to maturity.
Unlike other coming of age films, it is not a reflection of sadness and longing but an odyssey filled with the excitement of a new found freedom and revolutionary ardor. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote. QiDi 22 May Since the first time I saw "Yangguang Canlan de Rizi" "In the Heat of the Sun", actually if translated directly from the Chinese name, it would be "Bright Sunny Days" , it became one of my all time favorites.
Depicted in a yellowish color, the movie is full of mood of reminiscence. Though I was born right after the "Cultural Revolution" , I heard a lot about it from the older people. Days of those years were humdrum at large but might be wonderful for youngsters. Schools were loose or even dismissed, students worried nothing except their adolescent affairs.
Just as eagletc, another reviewer on this board, described: "there wasn't so much on concern in our mind, hence fighting against the children from other section in the military region became the only extracurriculum activity". What's great of this movie is that it exhibits to us so vividly the growth experience of one generation in a somewhat wild and beautiful way. It may be very touching for those who are acquainted with that period of Chinese history but may confuse and bore those who are not. Jiang Wen is not only a talented actor but also a genius director.
There's another movie from him I also love, "guizi lai le". I would like to mention Wang shuo, the writer of the original novel "Dongwu Xiongmeng Animals Are Savage ", who is the most creative contemporary novelist in China. This is, by all means, one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen. In spite of the generational gap between us who were born in the 80s and the director who went through their puberty in the 60s, it's a portrait and poem of memory and childhood, regardless of age matters.
It is physically impossible to be absolutely honest and draw back memories in the exact realistic way. So we all start telling our own stories mixed with both facts and imaginations. The beginning of puberty desire for females, become the fundamental essence of both movies.
Both boys had their final releases, with endings filled with both bitterness and sweetness. I believe that every single male audience who watched these two films can recall their dim but lively memory of the curiosity for girls at that age. The cinematography, from Gu Changwei, who's also known for his Berlin Silver Bear winning direction of Peacock, simply stands in the realm of perfection. The yellowish and blurring photographic construction of scenarios generates the nostalgic theme of the movie, and helps the story become more beautiful as it has already been.
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A truly imaginative and creative conclusion. Apart from the ironic contrast of the hierarchical statuses among the 'gang' members comparing to their old days, the final line shot by the retarded guy actually made me think. We are becoming materially and intellectually richer and cleverer as we grows, but should those childishness and innocently pure emotions from our childhood be cherished?
Days 'in the heat of the sun' has not only symbolize memory, but also speak for the pureness and simple innocence. We are all 'fools', as we enter the kingdom of adulthood, we will inevitably lose our naive characteristics. Life is always about gaining and losing at the same time, isn't it? Politically and culturally speaking, Jian Wen did not focus much of his storytelling on the miseries and depressions resulted from Mao's Cultural Revolution.
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Again, this is not a realistic representation of the concrete historical notion, it's a artistic craft tributing to memories. My parents, who shared the similar historical experience with Jiang Wen, did not acknowledge this film as a proper description of their childhood when they saw it. However, they both admitted that the film did reflect their own fantasies of an ideal past. Every time I ask them about what happened with their childhood, they can only give me a vague framework. A lot of the times, the recalling always come with a particular item, like shoes, football, soy sauce, Mao's red book It's not only for people grew up in the 60s, but also for everybody.
Funny as it is, memories can cheat on you and rationalize you in the same filed. The "5th Generation" of Chinese cinema produced films about the Cultural Revolution and its tragic impact on the lives of all Chinese. The most famous of these films, "To Live" Huozhe , "Blue Kite" Lan feng zheng , and "Farewell My Concubine" Ba wang bie ji all relentlessly emphasized the terror, hopelessness, and death of the Chinese people living during Cultural Revolution.
However, "In the Heat of the Sun" does something entirely different. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of Mao Ze Dong's drastic cultural changes, Jiang Wen looks at these years through the eyes of the children growing up through the turmoil. Instead of watching adults face their worlds collapsing, we watch a gang of boys struggle to survive mature, and goof-off without any supervision whatsoever. As a boy, the main character is simply searching for fun, for love, for anything to entertain himself.
Such frivolous pursuits amidst the eerie emptiness of Beijing can come across as unseemly to those who will never forget the grief and sorrow caused by the Cultural Revolution. Cinematically, the film is shot very well, and the story is more complex than it might at first seem. While official sources maintain that Lin planned and executed the alleged coup attempt, scholars such as Jin Qiu portray Lin as a passive character manipulated by members of his family and his supporters.
The Outline allegedly consisted mainly of plans for aerial bombardments through use of the Air Force. Were the plan to succeed, Lin would arrest his political rivals and assume power. Assassination attempts were alleged to have been made against Mao in Shanghai, from September 8 to September 10, Perceived risks to Mao's safety were allegedly relayed to the Chairman.
One internal report alleged that Lin had planned to bomb a bridge that Mao was to cross to reach Beijing; Mao reportedly avoided this bridge after receiving intelligence reports. In the official narrative, on September 13, , Lin Biao, his wife Ye Qun , Lin Liguo, and members of his staff attempted to flee to the Soviet Union ostensibly to seek asylum. En route, Lin's plane crashed in Mongolia , killing all on board.
The plane apparently ran out of fuel en route to the Soviet Union. A Soviet team investigating the incident was not able to determine the cause of the crash, but hypothesized that the pilot was flying low to evade radar and misjudged the plane's altitude. The official account has been put to question by foreign scholars, who have raised doubts over Lin's choice of the Soviet Union as a destination, the plane's route, the identity of the passengers, and whether or not a coup was actually taking place.
On September 13, the Politburo met in an emergency session to discuss Lin Biao. Only on September 30 was Lin's death confirmed in Beijing, which led to the cancellation of the National Day celebration events the following day. The Central Committee kept information under wraps, and news of Lin's death was not released to the public until two months following the incident. The event caught the party leadership off guard: the concept that Lin could betray Mao de-legitimized a vast body of Cultural Revolution political rhetoric, as Lin was already enshrined into the Party Constitution as Mao's "closest comrade-in-arms" and "successor".
For several months following the incident, the party information apparatus struggled to find a "correct way" to frame the incident for public consumption. Mao became depressed and reclusive after the Lin Biao incident. With Lin gone, Mao had no ready answers for who would succeed him. Sensing a sudden loss of direction, Mao attempted reaching out to old comrades whom he had denounced in the past. She held tremendous influence with the radical camp. With Mao's health on the decline, it was clear that Jiang Qing had political ambitions of her own.
She allied herself with Wang Hongwen and propaganda specialists Zhang Chunqiao and Yao Wenyuan , forming a political clique later pejoratively dubbed as the " Gang of Four ". By , round after round of political struggles had left many lower-level institutions, including local government, factories, and railways, short of competent staff needed to carry out basic functions.
However, the party's core became heavily dominated by Cultural Revolution beneficiaries and leftist radicals, whose focus remained upholding ideological purity over economic productivity. The economy remained largely the domain of Zhou Enlai, one of the few moderates 'left standing'. Zhou attempted to restore a viable economy, but was resented by the Gang of Four, who identified him as their main political threat in post-Mao era succession. In late , to weaken Zhou's political position and to distance themselves from Lin's apparent betrayal, the " Criticize Lin, Criticize Confucius " campaign began under Jiang Qing's leadership.
With a fragile economy and Zhou falling ill to cancer, Deng Xiaoping returned to the political scene, taking up the post of Vice-Premier in March , in the first of a series of promotions approved by Mao. The speed of Deng's rehabilitation took the radical camp, who saw themselves as Mao's 'rightful' political and ideological heirs, by surprise. Mao wanted to use Deng as a counterweight to the military faction in government to suppress any remaining influence of those formerly loyal to Lin Biao.
In addition, Mao had also lost confidence in the ability of the Gang of Four to manage the economy and saw Deng as a competent and effective leader. Leaving the country in grinding poverty would do no favours to the positive legacy of the Cultural Revolution, which Mao worked hard to protect. Deng's return set the scene for a protracted factional struggle between the radical Gang of Four and moderates led by Zhou and Deng.
At the time, Jiang Qing and associates held effective control of mass media and the party's propaganda network, while Zhou and Deng held control of most government organs. On some decisions, Mao sought to mitigate the Gang's influence, but on others, he acquiesced to their demands.
The Gang of Four's heavy hand in political and media control did not prevent Deng from reinstating his economic policies. Deng emphatically opposed Party factionalism, and his policies aimed to promote unity as the first step to restoring economic productivity. Much like the post-Great Leap restructuring led by Liu Shaoqi, Deng streamlined the railway system, steel production, and other key areas of the economy.
By late however, Mao saw that Deng's economic restructuring might negate the legacy of the Cultural Revolution, and launched a campaign to oppose "rehabilitating the case for the rightists", alluding to Deng as the country's foremost "rightist". Mao directed Deng to write self-criticisms in November , a move lauded by the Gang of Four. On January 8, , Zhou Enlai died of bladder cancer.
On January 15 Deng Xiaoping delivered Zhou's official eulogy in a funeral attended by all of China's most senior leaders with the notable absence of Mao himself, who had grown increasingly critical of Zhou. The Gang of Four grew apprehensive that spontaneous, large-scale popular support for Zhou could turn the political tide against them. They acted through the media to impose a set of restrictions on overt public displays of mourning for Zhou. Years of resentment over the Cultural Revolution, the public persecution of Deng Xiaoping seen as Zhou's ally , and the prohibition against public mourning led to a rise in popular discontent against Mao and the Gang of Four.
Official attempts to enforce the mourning restrictions included removing public memorials and tearing down posters commemorating Zhou's achievements. On March 25, , Shanghai's Wen Hui Bao published an article calling Zhou "the capitalist roader inside the Party [who] wanted to help the unrepentant capitalist roader [Deng] regain his power". These propaganda efforts at smearing Zhou's image, however, only strengthened public attachment to Zhou's memory. On April 4, , on the eve of China's annual Qingming Festival , a traditional day of mourning, thousands of people gathered around the Monument to the People's Heroes in Tiananmen Square to commemorate Zhou Enlai.
The people of Beijing honored Zhou by laying wreaths, banners, poems, placards, and flowers at the foot of the Monument. A small number of slogans left at Tiananmen even attacked Mao himself, and his Cultural Revolution.
Up to two million people may have visited Tiananmen Square on April 4. Those who participated were motivated by a mixture of anger over the treatment of Zhou, revolt against the Cultural Revolution and apprehension for China's future. The event did not appear to have coordinated leadership but rather seemed to be a reflection of public sentiment.
The Central Committee, under the leadership of Jiang Qing, labelled the event 'counter-revolutionary', and cleared the square of memorial items shortly after midnight on April 6. Attempts to suppress the mourners led to a violent riot. Police cars were set on fire and a crowd of over , people forced its way into several government buildings surrounding the square. Similar incidents occurred in other major cities.
Jiang Qing and her allies pinned Deng Xiaoping as the incident's 'mastermind', and issued reports on official media to that effect. Deng was formally stripped of all positions "inside and outside the Party" on April 7. This marked Deng's second purge in ten years. On September 9, , Mao Zedong died. To Mao's supporters, his death symbolized the loss of the revolutionary foundation of Communist China. When his death was announced on the afternoon of September 9, in a press release entitled "A Notice from the Central Committee, the NPC, State Council, and the CMC to the whole Party, the whole Army and to the people of all nationalities throughout the country",  the nation descended into grief and mourning, with people weeping in the streets and public institutions closing for over a week.
Hua Guofeng chaired the Funeral Committee. Shortly before dying, Mao had allegedly written the message "With you in charge, I'm at ease", to Hua. Hua used this message to substantiate his position as successor. Hua had been widely considered to be lacking in political skill and ambitions, and seemingly posed no serious threat to the Gang of Four in the race for succession. However, the Gang's radical ideas also clashed with influential elders and a large segment of party reformers. With army backing and the support of Marshal Ye Jianying , on October 6, the Special Unit had all members of the Gang of Four arrested in a bloodless coup.
Although Hua Guofeng publicly denounced the Gang of Four in , he continued to invoke Mao's name to justify Mao-era policies. Hua spearheaded what became known as the Two Whatevers ,  namely, "Whatever policy originated from Chairman Mao, we must continue to support," and "Whatever directions were given to us from Chairman Mao, we must continue to follow. It became increasingly clear to Hua that, without Deng Xiaoping, it was difficult to continue daily affairs of state. On October 10, Deng Xiaoping personally wrote a letter to Hua asking to be transferred back to state and party affairs; party elders also called for Deng's return.
With increasing pressure from all sides, Hua named Deng Vice-Premier in July , and later promoted him to various other positions, effectively catapulting Deng to China's second-most powerful figure. Hu published an article in the Guangming Daily , making clever use of Mao's quotations while lauding Deng's ideas. Following this article, Hua began to shift his tone in support of Deng. At the congress Deng called for "a liberation of thoughts" and urged the party to " seek truth from facts " and abandon ideological dogma.
The Plenum officially marked the beginning of the economic reform era. Hua Guofeng engaged in self-criticism and called his "Two Whatevers" a mistake. Wang Dongxing , a trusted ally of Mao, was also criticized. At the Plenum, the Party reversed its verdict on the Tiananmen Incident. Disgraced former leader Liu Shaoqi was allowed a belated state funeral. At the Fifth Plenum held in , Peng Zhen , He Long and other leaders who had been purged during the Cultural Revolution were politically rehabilitated. Hu Yaobang became head of the party as its General-Secretary.
Deng remained the Chairman of the Central Military Commission , but formal power was transferred to a new generation of pragmatic reformers, who reversed Cultural Revolution policies almost in their entirety. The effects of the Cultural Revolution directly or indirectly touched essentially all of China's population. During the Cultural Revolution, much economic activity was halted, with "revolution", regardless of interpretation, being the primary objective of the country.
Mao Zedong Thought became the central operative guide to all things in China. The authority of the Red Guards surpassed that of the army, local police authorities, and the law in general. Chinese traditional arts and ideas were ignored and publicly attacked, with praise for Mao being practiced in their place.
People were encouraged to criticize cultural institutions and to question their parents and teachers, which had been strictly forbidden in traditional Chinese culture. The start of the Cultural Revolution brought huge numbers of Red Guards to Beijing, with all expenses paid by the government, and the railway system was in turmoil. The revolution aimed to destroy the " Four Olds " old customs, old culture, old habits, and old ideas and establish the corresponding "Four News", which could range from changing of names and cutting of hair, to the ransacking of homes, vandalizing cultural treasures, and desecrating temples.
The status of traditional Chinese culture and institutions within China was also severely damaged as a result of the Cultural Revolution, and the practice of many traditional customs weakened. The revolution also aimed to "sweep away" all " cow demons and snake spirits ", that is, all the class enemies who promoted bourgeois ideas within the party, the government, the army, among the intellectuals, as well as those from an exploitative family background or who belonged to one of the Five Black Categories.
Large numbers of people perceived to be "monsters and demons" regardless of guilt or innocence were publicly denounced, humiliated, and beaten. In their revolutionary fervor, students denounced their teachers, and children denounced their parents. In , youths were mobilized to go to the countryside in the Down to the Countryside Movement so they may learn from the peasantry, and the departure of millions from the cities helped end the most violent phase of the Cultural Revolution. Though the effect of the Cultural Revolution was disastrous for millions of people in China, there were positive outcomes for some sections of the population, such as those in the rural areas.
For example, the upheavals of the Cultural Revolution and the hostility to the intellectual elite is widely accepted to have damaged the quality of education in China, especially at the upper end of education system. However, the radical policies also provided many in the rural communities with middle school education for the first time, which is thought to have facilitated the rural economic development in the 70s and 80s. Some farmers were given informal medical training, and health-care centers were established in rural communities.
This process led to a marked improvement in the health and the life expectancy of the general population. After the most violent phase of the s ended, the attack on traditional culture continued in with the Anti-Lin Biao, Anti-Confucius Campaign as part of the struggle against the moderate elements in the party.
The Cultural Revolution brought to the forefront numerous internal power struggles within the Communist party, many of which had little to do with the larger battles between Party leaders, but resulted instead from local factionalism and petty rivalries that were usually unrelated to the "revolution" itself. Because of the chaotic political environment, local governments lacked organization and stability, if they existed at all.
Members of different factions often fought on the streets, and political assassinations, particularly in predominantly rural provinces, were common. The masses spontaneously involved themselves in factions, and took part in open warfare against other factions. The ideology that drove these factions was vague and sometimes non-existent, with the struggle for local authority being the only motivation for mass involvement. The Cultural Revolution brought China's education system to a virtual halt for some time.
In the early months of the Cultural Revolution, schools and universities were closed. Primary and middle schools later gradually reopened, but all colleges and universities were closed until , and most universities did not reopen until Values taught in traditional education were abandoned,  while academics and intellectuals were persecuted and sent to rural labor camps.
According to the documents for the prosecution of the Gang of Four, , cadres and teachers in the education circles were persecuted, and noted academics, scientists, and educators who died included Xiong Qinglai , Jian Bozan , Rao Yutai , Wu Dingliang and Zhao Jiuzhang. During the Cultural Revolution, basic education was emphasized and rapidly expanded. The educational opportunities for rural children expanded considerably, while those of the children of the urban elite became restricted by the anti-elitist policies.
The impact of the Cultural Revolution on popular education varied among regions, and formal measurements of literacy did not resume until the s. The leaders of China at the time denied that there were any illiteracy problems from the start. This effect was amplified by the elimination of qualified teachers—many districts were forced to rely on selected students to educate the next generation. In , the Communist Party instituted the Down to the Countryside Movement , in which "Educated Youths" zhishi qingnian or simply zhiqing in urban areas were sent to live and work in agrarian areas to be re-educated by the peasantry and to better understand the role of manual agrarian labor in Chinese society.
In the initial stages, most of the youth who took part volunteered, although later on the government resorted to forcing many of them to move. Between and , 17 millions of China's urban youths left for the countryside, and being in the rural areas also deprived them the opportunity of higher education. According to Shaorong Huang, the fact that the Cultural Revolution had such massive effects on Chinese society is the result of extensive use of political slogans. Huang asserts that political slogans were ubiquitous in every aspect of people's lives, being printed onto ordinary items such as bus tickets, cigarette packets, and mirror tables.
Even a casual remark by Mao, "Sweet potato tastes good; I like it" became a slogan everywhere in the countryside. Political slogans of the time had three sources: Mao, official Party media such as People's Daily , and the Red Guards. Red Guard slogans were of the most violent nature, such as "Strike the enemy down on the floor and step on him with a foot", "Long live the red terror! Sinologists Lowell Dittmer and Chen Ruoxi point out that the Chinese language had historically been defined by subtlety, delicacy, moderation, and honesty, as well as the "cultivation of a refined and elegant literary style".
Since Mao wanted an army of bellicose people in his crusade, rhetoric at the time was reduced to militant and violent vocabulary. Dittmer and Chen argue that the emphasis on politics made language a very effective form of propaganda, but "also transformed it into a jargon of stereotypes—pompous, repetitive, and boring".
The practice of sloganeering saw a mild resurgence in the late s under Jiang Zemin. Before the Cultural Revolution, in the years —, theatre became part of the struggles in the political arena as plays were used as to criticize or support particular members of the party leadership.
It produced an attack by Yao Wenyuan on the opera, an attack often considered the opening shot of Cultural Revolution. During the Cultural Revolution, Jiang Qing took control of the stage and introduced the revolutionary model operas under her direct supervision. Traditional operas were banned as they were considered feudalistic and bourgeois, but revolutionary opera, which is based on Peking opera but modified in both content and form, was promoted. These operas were the only approved opera form and other opera troupes were required to adopt or change their repertoire. In , Jiang Qing put forward the Theory of the Dictatorship of the Black Line in Literature and Arts where those perceived to be bourgeois, anti-socialist or anti-Mao "black line" should be cast aside, and called for the creation of a new literature and arts.
The majority of writers and artists were seen as "black line figures" and "reactionary literati", and therefore persecuted, many were subjected to "criticism and denunciation" where they may be publicly humiliated and ravaged, and they may also be imprisoned or sent to be reformed through hard labour. In the documents for the prosecution of the Gang of Four released in , more than 2, people in the field of arts and literature were revealed to have been persecuted by the Ministry of Culture and units under it alone.
During the Cultural Revolution, only a few writers who gained permission or requalification under the new system, such as Hao Ran and some writers of worker or farmer background, can have had their work published or reprinted. The permissible subject matter of proletarian and socialist literature would be strictly defined, and all the literary periodicals in the country ceased publication by The situation eased after , more writers were allowed to write and many provincial literary periodicals resumed publication, but the majority of writers still could not work.
The effect is similar in the film industry. After the communist takeover in China, much of the popular music from Shanghai was condemned as Yellow Music and banned, and during the Cultural Revolution, composers of such popular music such as Li Jinhui were persecuted. Some of the most enduring images of Cultural Revolution come from the poster art. Propaganda art in posters was used as a campaigning tool and mass communication device, and often served as the main source of information for the people.
They were produced in large number and widely disseminated, and were used by the government and Red Guards to educate the public the ideological value as defined by the party state. The dazibao may be slogans, poems, commentary and graphics often freely created and posted on walls in public spaces, factories and communes. They were vital to Mao's struggle in the Cultural Revolution, and Mao himself wrote his own dazibao at Beijing University on August 5, , calling on the people to " Bombard the Headquarters ". The artists for these posters may be amateurs or uncredited professionals, and the posters were largely in a Socialist Realist visual style with certain conventions—for example, images of Mao should be depicted as "red, smooth, and luminescent".
Zhou said that the artworks were for meant for foreigners, therefore were "outer" art not be under the obligations and restrictions placed on "inner" art meant for Chinese citizens. To him, landscape paintings should also not be considered one of the "Four Olds". However, Zhou was weakened by cancer and in , the Jiang Qing faction seized these and other paintings and mounted exhibitions in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities denouncing the artworks as "Black Paintings".
China's historical sites, artifacts and archives suffered devastating damage, as they were thought to be at the root of "old ways of thinking. There are few records of exactly how much was destroyed—Western observers suggest that much of China's thousands of years of history was in effect destroyed, or, later, smuggled abroad for sale, during the short ten years of the Cultural Revolution. Chinese historians compare the cultural suppression during the Cultural Revolution to Qin Shihuang 's great Confucian purge. Religious persecution intensified during this period, as a result of religion being viewed in opposition to Marxist—Leninist and Maoist thinking.
Although being undertaken by some of the Revolution's enthusiastic followers, the destruction of historical relics was never formally sanctioned by the Communist Party, whose official policy was instead to protect such items. On May 14, , the CCP central committee issued a document entitled Several suggestions for the protection of cultural relics and books during the Cultural Revolution. For example, a survey in in Beijing of 18 key spots of cultural heritage, including the Temple of Heaven and Ming Tombs , showed extensive damage.
Of the 80 cultural heritage sites in Beijing under municipal protection, 30 were destroyed, and of the 6, cultural sites under protection by Beijing government decision in , 4, were damaged or destroyed. Later archaeological excavation and preservation after the destructive period in the s, however, were protected, and several major discoveries, such as that of the Terracotta Army and the Mawangdui , occurred after the peak of the Revolution.
Millions of people in China were violently persecuted during the Cultural Revolution. Those identified as spies, "running dogs", "revisionists", or coming from a suspect class including those related to former landlords or rich peasants were subject to beating, imprisonment, rape, torture, sustained and systematic harassment and abuse, seizure of property, denial of medical attention, and erasure of social identity. Intellectuals were also targeted; many survivors and observers suggest that almost anyone with skills over that of the average person was made the target of political "struggle" in some way.
At least hundreds of thousands of people were murdered, starved, or worked to death. Millions more were forcibly displaced. Young people from the cities were forcibly moved to the countryside, where they were forced to abandon all forms of standard education in place of the propaganda teachings of the Communist Party of China. Some people were not able to stand the torture and, losing hope for the future, committed suicide. One of the most famous cases of attempted suicide due to political persecution involved Deng Xiaoping's son, Deng Pufang , who jumped or was thrown from a four-story building after being "interrogated" by Red Guards.
Instead of dying, he became paraplegic. In the trial of the so-called Gang of Four, a Chinese court stated that , people had been persecuted, of whom 34, were said to have died. Estimates of the death toll, including civilians and Red Guards, vary greatly. The state of Chinese demographics records at the time was also very poor, and the PRC has been hesitant to allow formal research into the period. The Cultural Revolution wreaked much havoc on minority cultures and ethnicities in China. In Inner Mongolia , some , people were persecuted. Of these, 22, were beaten to death and , were maimed,  during a witch hunt to find members of the alleged separatist New Inner Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party.
In Xinjiang , copies of the Qur'an and other books of the Uyghur people were apparently burned. Muslim imams were reportedly paraded around with paint splashed on their bodies. In the ethnic Korean areas of northeast China, language schools were destroyed.see url
Download Remembering Red Memory And Nostalgia For The Cultural Revolution In Late 1990S China
In Yunnan Province, the palace of the Dai people 's king was torched, and a massacre of Muslim Hui people at the hands of the People's Liberation Army in Yunnan, known as the Shadian incident , reportedly claimed over 1, lives in Concessions given to minorities were abolished during the Cultural Revolution as part of the Red Guards' attack on the " Four Olds ".
People's communes , previously only established in parts of Tibet, were established throughout Tibetan Autonomous Region in ,  removing Tibet's exemption from China's period of land reform, and reimposed in other minority areas. The effect on Tibet had been particularly severe as it came following the repression after the Tibetan uprising. Many monks and nuns were killed, and the general population were subjected to physical and psychological torture. The overall failure of the Red Guards' and radical assimilationists' goals was largely due to two factors.
It was felt that pushing minority groups too hard would compromise China's border defences. This was especially important as minorities make up a large percentage of the population that live along China's borders. In the late s China experienced a period of strained relations with a number of its neighbours, notably with the Soviet Union and India. The return to pluralism, and therefore the end of the worst of the effects of the Cultural Revolution to ethnic minorities in China, coincides closely with Lin Biao's removal from power. To make sense of the mass chaos caused by Mao's leadership in the Cultural Revolution while preserving the Party's authority and legitimacy, Mao's successors needed to lend the event a "proper" historical judgment.
The Resolution frankly noted Mao's leadership role in the movement, stating that "chief responsibility for the grave 'Left' error of the 'Cultural Revolution,' an error comprehensive in magnitude and protracted in duration, does indeed lie with Comrade Mao Zedong. The Resolution affirmed that the Cultural Revolution "brought serious disaster and turmoil to the Communist Party and the Chinese people. The official view aimed to separate Mao's actions during the Cultural Revolution from his "heroic" revolutionary activities during the Chinese Civil War and the Second Sino-Japanese War.
It also separated Mao's personal mistakes from the correctness of the theory that he created, going as far as to rationalize that the Cultural Revolution contravened the spirit of Mao Zedong Thought, which remains an official guiding ideology of the Party. In Mainland China, the official view of the party now serves as the dominant framework for Chinese historiography of the time period; alternative views see below are discouraged.
Following the Cultural Revolution, a new genre of literature known as " Scar literature " Shanghen Wenxue emerged, being encouraged by the post-Mao government. Largely written by educated youth such as Liu Xinhua, Zhang Xianliang , and Liu Xinwu , scar literature depicted the Revolution from a negative viewpoint, using their own perspectives and experiences as a basis.
After the suppression of the Tiananmen Square Protests of , both liberals and conservatives within the Party accused each other of excesses that they claimed were reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution. Li Peng , who promoted the use of military force, cited that the student movement had taken inspiration from the grassroots populism of the Cultural Revolution, and that if it is left unchecked, would eventually lead to a similar degree of mass chaos.
Although the Chinese Communist Party officially condemns the Cultural Revolution, there are many Chinese people who hold more positive views of it, particularly amongst the working class, who benefited most from its policies. For instance, in , a young shoe-factory worker put up a poster on a factory wall in Xianyang , Shaanxi, which declared that "The Cultural Revolution was Good" and led to achievements such as "the building of the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge , the creation of hybrid rice crops and the rise of people's consciousness. One of the student leaders of the Tiananmen Square protests of , Shen Tong , author of Almost a Revolution , has a positive view of some aspects of the Cultural Revolution.
According to Shen, the trigger for the famous Tiananmen hunger-strikes of was a big-character poster dazibao , a form of public political discussion that gained prominence during the Cultural Revolution. Shen remarked that the congregation of students from across the country to Beijing on trains and the hospitality they received from residents was reminiscent of the experiences of Red Guards in the Cultural Revolution. Since the advent of the Internet, people inside and outside China have argued online that the Cultural Revolution had many beneficial qualities for China that have been denied by both the post-Mao Chinese Communist Party and Western media.
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Some hold that the Cultural Revolution 'cleansed' China from superstitions, religious dogma, and outdated traditions in a 'modernist transformation' that later made Deng's economic reforms possible. These sentiments increased following the U. Contemporary Maoists have also become more organized in the internet era, partially as a response to criticisms of Mao from academics and scholars.
One Maoist website managed to collect thousands of signatures demanding punishment for those who publicly criticize Mao. Along with the call for legal action, this movement demands the establishment of agencies similar to Cultural Revolution-era "neighborhood committees", in which "citizens" would report anti-Maoists to local public security bureaus.
Maoist rhetoric and mass mobilization methods were resurgent in the interior city of Chongqing during the political career of Bo Xilai. Public discussion of the Cultural Revolution is still limited in China. The Chinese government continues to prohibit news organizations from mentioning details of the Cultural Revolution, and online discussions and books about the topic are subject to official scrutiny. Textbooks on the subject continue to abide by the "official view" see above of the events.
Many government documents from the s on remain classified, and are not open to formal inspection by private academics. That the government still displays such heightened sensitivities around the Cultural Revolution is an indicator that it still considers itself, at least in part, an inheritor of its legacy. The government is apprehensive that academic probing and popular discussions will lead to ideological conflict and increase social instability. It may threaten the foundations of Communist rule. The focus of the Chinese government on maintaining political and social stability has been a top priority since the Tiananmen crackdown on reformers on June 4, , and the current government has no interest in re-evaluating any issue that might lead to a split in the Chinese leadership, or which might polarize the Party on ideological grounds.
In Hong Kong a pro-Communist anti-colonial strike inspired by the Cultural Revolution was launched in Its excesses damaged the credibility of these activists for more than a generation in the eyes of Hong Kong residents. In the world at large, Mao Zedong emerged as a symbol of the anti-establishment, grassroots populism, and self-determination. His revolutionary philosophies found adherents in the Shining Path of Peru, the Naxalite insurgency in India, various political movements in Nepal, the U.
In Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang remarked that the Cultural Revolution represented the 'dangers of democracy', remarking "People can go to the extreme like what we saw during the Cultural Revolution [ Scholars and China Watchers in Western countries debate why events unfolded the way they did, Mao's role, how the Cultural Revolution began, and what it was. These debates have changed over the decades as researchers explored new sources. In the s, while many scholars dismissed Mao's initiatives as ideological and destructive, others sympathized with his concern for equality, opposition to bureaucratism and corruption, and individual selfishness.
They saw Maoism as a populist insistence on mass participation, mass criticism and the right to rebel, and a determination to wipe out a new ruling class. Walder argued that the failures of the Cultural Revolution did not come from poor implementation, bureaucratic sabotage, disloyalty, or lingering class antagonisms. Yet debate continues because the movement contains many contradictions: led by an all-powerful omnipresent leader, it was mainly driven by a series of grassroots popular uprisings against the Communist establishment. Virtually all English-language books published since the s paint a negative picture of the movement.
Historian Anne F. Thurston wrote that it "led to loss of culture, and of spiritual values; loss of hope and ideals; loss of time, truth and of life".
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Mobo Gao, writing in The Battle for China's Past: Mao and the Cultural Revolution ,  argues that the movement benefited millions of Chinese citizens, particularly agricultural and industrial workers,  and sees it as egalitarian and genuinely populist, citing continued Maoist nostalgia in China today as remnants of its positive legacy. Academic interest has also focused on the movement's relationship with Mao's personality. Mao envisioned himself as a wartime guerrilla leader, which made him wary of the bureaucratic nature of peacetime governance. With the Cultural Revolution Mao was simply "returning to form", once again taking on the role of a guerrilla leader fighting against an institutionalized party bureaucracy.
Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals , paint the movement as neither a bona fide war over ideological purity nor a mere power struggle to remove Mao's political rivals. These include China's relationship with the global Communist movement, geopolitical concerns, the ideological rift between China and the Soviet Union , Khrushchev's ouster, and the failures of the Great Leap Forward. The mass hysteria surrounding the Cultural Revolution was also unprecedented. Historian Phillip Short contends that the Cultural Revolution contained elements that were akin to a form of religious worship.
In Mao: The Unknown Story , Chang and Jon Halliday attribute all the destruction of the Cultural Revolution to Mao personally, with more sympathetic portrayals of his allies and opponents. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
For Iran, see Iranian Cultural Revolution. For Libya, see Cultural Revolution Libya. For Romania, see July Theses. Maoist sociopolitical movement intended to strengthen Chinese Communism. The specific problem is: Correct outstanding citations needed in preparation for GA1 review. December Cultural Revolution propaganda poster. Revolution Korean War. One country, two systems Hong Kong Macau.
Mao 2. Deng 3. Jiang 4. Culture Economy Education Geography Politics. Main article: Great Leap Forward. Main article: Sino-Soviet split. Mao-Liu conflict. In , Mao broke with Liu Shaoqi right , then serving as titular head of state , over the work-teams issue. Mao's polemic Bombard the Headquarters was widely recognized as targeting Liu, the purported "bourgeois headquarters" of the party. Red Guards in Beijing. All photos from China Pictorial. Main article: Four Olds. We do not only feel boundless joy because we have as our great leader the greatest Marxist-Leninist of our era, Chairman Mao, but also great joy because we have Vice Chairman Lin as Chairman Mao's universally recognized successor.
Main article: Lin Biao incident. Main article: Gang of Four. Main article: Tiananmen Incident. Main article: Struggle session. Main article: Ideology of the Communist Party of China. China portal Communism portal. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved June 12, Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, University of Chicago Press.
Library of Congress. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. Chapter 1. Henan Renmin Chubanshe. Mao's Last Revolution. Harvard University Press , Period of Great Turmoil: China between — , p. January