Before you say anything, yes it's a movie about Chairman Mao, the founder of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and yes, it could easily be viewed as propaganda. However, there are quite a few reasons to watch this film, especially if you're in to East Asian history and film. The interesting thing about this movie is that, although it is essentially propaganda it takes a seemingly objective approach to the portrayal of a number of the characters, especially Cheng Kai-Shek, the leader of the Kuo Min Tang (KMT - the guys who were opposed to Mao's communist party). Sure Mao is portrayed as a kind and charismatic leader who is a friend to all the children and the everyman but I half expected them to portray Cheng as an evil capitalist, wringing his hands and cackling while coming up with more insidious plots to exploit workers. Surprisingly they portrayed him as a guy with good intentions that just couldn't "get it together" which in a way is what actually happened in history (the KMT, after being in power for a time, lost to the communists and took refuge in Taiwan, which has a lot to do with why Taiwan is always trying to claim independence - I'll talk about this in a later post methinks). What I'm saying is that for a propaganda film, its actually quite factual and by watching it you can actually learn a thing or two about how PRC came to be.
|The alternate poster showing all the famous actors the make appearances in the film.|