Film Review of “The Beginning of the Great Revival”

Reposted with author’s permission from the blog The Fuckin’ Loudest Asians, we bring you this movie review in honor of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China

Synopsis: The Beginning of the Great Revival portrays the period in China’s history starting with the Revolution of 1911 that overthrew the Qing Dynasty and ending with the founding congress of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921, attended by Mao Zedong and 11 other delegates. In contrast with The Founding of a Republic, which chronicled the years leading up to the 1949 declaration of the People’s Republic of China, this movie depicts a time when monarchists and warlords hold sway over the country and revolutionaries are only beginning to contend for power. The movie outlines Mao’s youth as a soldier, student, and burgeoning political leader. It shows the intellectual debates in the universities between contending schools of thought: Confucianism, philosophical pragmatism, and Marxism (the latter represented by Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao). The movie climaxes with the May 4th Movement, when patriotic Chinese students, women, and workers mobilize in mass demonstrations in Beijing against imperialism and feudalism.

“The Founding of the Party”, otherwise known as “The Beginning of the Great Revival” internationally,” was produced to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. However, the international name glorifies pre-Maoist China and its present-day status as a supposed nation of wealth and power – not its socialist era. The $12 million film includes celebrities from mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, which symbolically shows that the historical relationship between China, Taiwan, and the US are changing. It is not surprising that the US has its fat, grubby fingers involved. The US bailed out Shanghai GM in its 2009 financial crisis and now Cadillac, a General Motors subsidiary, is one of the main sponsors of the film. You would think that this pricey joint venture could do better than tack on an ending that a parrot could repeat and a senselessly long scene of a woman sitting on a boat as the founding CCP members are having their meeting.

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