HIST 397: From Mao to Now: China's Red Revolution: Videos

Library resources on China Communist revolution and Maoism, from its ideological origins through its implementation during and after the Chinese Communist revolution, from 1949 to present.

KU Streaming Videos Databases

Cultural Revolution and Great Famine Documentary Films on YouTube

Communist China: The Great Leap Forward (12:47) ClickView
Mao's Great Famine, Chinese subtitled [毛澤東的大飢荒][毛泽东的大饥荒]

寻找林昭的灵魂 "In Search of Lin Zhao's Soul"(English subtitle) (1:55:29)
A documentary about Lin Zhao, a young female student of the Peking University who died in prison for refusing to recant her criticisms of the CCP during the Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957. She wrote over 100,000 characters with her own blood of her faith, resistance and martyrdom

The Ditch (or Goodbye) "Jiabiangou" 夹边沟 is a documentary feature film directed by Wang Bing, "It is adapted from the novel "Farewell to Jiabiangou", which reflects the story of a group of rightist politicians in China in the early 1960s working through labor at the Jiabiangou camp in the Gobi Desert. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival in Sept. 2010."
Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (4:53)
Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (4:53)

Though I am gone
Documentary films. "Bian Zhongyun, Vice Principal of the Girls High School affiliated to Beijing Normal University, was tortured to death in 1966. She was believed to be the first victim among the teachers killed by their students during the "Red August" of 1966 as the Cultural Revolution began in China." Mandarin w/ English subtitles.

Chairman Mao received the Red Guards for the fifth and sixth time, in October 18 and in November 3, 1966.- PART 1 (34:41) in Chinese
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3J3uV0IGA5c

Morning Sun Excerpt. This is the eight minute opening scene from the two-hour documentary Morning Sun, which attempts to create an inner history of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1964-1976).
Morning Sun 8, 9 點鐘的太陽

Morning Sun 8, 9 點鐘的太陽 (in Chinese) (1:57:12 full length)
Website Morning Sun, A Documentary Film
"Report from China" 1967 Documentary about Communist China
Part 1: Cultural Revolution (31:48) PeriscopeFilm

This 1966/67 documentary "Report from China Part 1", originally titled "Country of Dawn", was distributed by Radim Films in the USA and originally produced by a Iwanami Film Productions, of Japan.
"Report from China" 1967 Documentary about Communist China
Part 2: Cultural Revolution (29:11)

This 1966/67 documentary "Report from China Part 2", originally titled "Country of Dawn", was distributed by Radim Films in the USA and originally produced by a Iwanami Film Productions, of Japan.

Spark 星火

Documentary film of persecuted people related to Spark, a short-lived magazine from Gansu Province whose young, intellectual contributors bravely shone a light on the horrific realities of life during the Great Leap Forward. More than 35 million people died of famine between 1959 and 1961, in large part because of Communist Party policies. (1:40:00 min. with English subtitles)

COVID Protest Footage

Historiography of the Revolution

National Memory: Zhou Enlai and the East is Red opera is a serial TV show on CCTV, which narratives the history of the East is Red opera. This show was first broadcast in 2018. It is interesting to see why the TV show is named "National Memory," and the purpose of this kind of TV show in that specific year. Also, it is worth to exam how history has been told, how historical materials have been selected, and what the intention of this historical narrative is.

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

The East is Red (film) 1964

This is the original film about The East Is Red opera with English subtitles. 

Grassroot Subculture


Transliterated from the English word “smart,” shamate was a subculture movement among young migrant workers from rural areas who moved to China’s industrial cities during the mid-’00s. But followers of shamate soon became targets for the mainstream, with haters actively attempting to destroy the subculture’s sanctuaries and activities.

Director Li Yifan’s documentary “We Were Smart” sheds light on the spiritual world of former shamate members, their role in China’s economic boom, and how their community was ultimately torn apart simply because they wanted to be different.

Streaming Videos

China: a century of revolution Part 1: China in Revolution, 1911-1949
KU login to Kanopy is required.

Part 2: the Mao Years, 1949-1976
Part 3: Born under the Red Flag, 1976-1997
China on the Rise: Paul Solman Reports (1:16:52), Films on Demand
Making Mao (52:19) Films on Demand

China's propaganda campaign to promote a workers’ utopia and make Mao Zedong a god via Mao-centered iconography in the visual, performing, and popular arts.

Mao Tse-tung: The Architect of Modern China Full Video (18:13)

"This program looks at the life and legacy of Mao Tse-Tung: birth, education, enlistment in the revolutionary army; founding the Communist Party and the first Chinese Soviet; adapting Marxism to Chinese culture; victory over the Nationalists in 1949; the Great Proletarian Revolution; the Cultural Revolution; opening to the West; the death of Chou Enlai; the death of Mao; the fall of the Gang of Four; tourists on the Great Wall; the Tiananmen massacre." (19 minutes, b&w/color)

Unique personal stories combined with rare historical footage give a new perspective on Mao Zedong’s utopia. At the height of Maoism, China was as closed off as present-day North Korea. As China eased out of its age of isolation in the early 1970s, Westerners equipped with government-regulated narratives began to romanticize the new government. Only a small group of Westerners who grew up and lived inside Mao’s China witnessed first-hand the upheaval of the Cultural Revolution. Until now they had preferred to remain silent, but armed with a new outlook on life they are committed to sharing their experiences without fear.

The Three Gorges Dam will bring huge economic benefits to areas of central China, but Grandma Pang, an 87-year-old villager who is to be relocated to avoid rising waters from the construction project, is not so sure the changes are all for the good. She has lived all her life in one village and will be forced to leave many possessions and special places behind. Filmed over three years, this program chronicles Grandma Pang’s traditional lifestyle, her emotional departure from the past, and the difficulties encountered in her new home as she and are family are moved to a “model town” to make way for the Three Gorges dam. A part of the series China from Within. (Portions with English subtitles, 26 minutes)

Post Mao Era Documentary on YouTube

Telling China’s Story: The Chinese Communist Party’s Campaign To Shape Global Narratives (Hoover Institution) (1:06:28)
China: Rise of an Asian giant | Insight | Full Episode (49:00)Mediacorp CNA (Singapore)

Chinese Communism

Where did Chinese communism come from? | Behind the Book with Professor Tony Saich (9:19)
Harvard Kennedy School
China A Century of Revolution 1949 - 1976 (1:54:05)
How does the Chinese Communist Party operate? (6:44)
South China Morning Post
Chairman Mao Tse-Tung Life & Legacy documentary film Communist China (PeriscopeFilm) 13:12
LIVE: The celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (1:52:18) > China Daily