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La chinoise (1967)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 4 March 1968 (USA)
A small group of French students are studying Mao, trying to find out their position in the world and how to change the world to a Maoistic community using terrorism.




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Cast overview:
Michel Semeniako ...
Lex De Bruijn ...
Omar Diop ...
Francis Jeanson ...
Blandine Jeanson ...
Eliane Giovagnoli ...
Son ami


A small group of French students are studying Mao, trying to find out their position in the world and how to change the world to a Maoistic community using terrorism. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 March 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La chinoise  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$9,355 (USA) (12 October 2007)


$26,803 (USA) (19 October 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin (1888 -1938) was a noted and influential Marxist theoretician, revolutionary, and Soviet politician. At various times, he held significant posts in the Soviet Union e.g. member of the Politburo and Central Committee, chairman of Communist International, and the editor-in-chief of Pravda, the journal Bolshevik, and Izvestia, and the Great Soviet Encyclopedia. See more »


[repeated lines]
Veronique: Guillaume, answer the phone!
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Mao Mao
Music by Gérard Hugé and Claude Channes
Lyrics by Gérard Guégan
Performed by Claudes Channes
See more »

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User Reviews

LA CHINOISE (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967) ***
8 April 2006 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Not an easy film to comment on, or even appreciate, given its overt political content - but also the fact that I watched it, without the benefit of English subtitles, on French TV (amusingly, the French ones which accompanied the screening could hardly keep up with Godard's typically loquacious script!); unfortunately, my reception of this cable channel - which has been showing some pretty good, even rare, titles for years - hasn't been perfect in recent times...but, in spite of all this, I still couldn't afford to miss out on one of Godard's most famous films, right?

Anyway, the director's best and worst qualities are well in evidence here: with an obvious emphasis on the color red, it's visually stimulating, indeed overwhelming (as, frustratingly, Godard often puts text in his images while the characters are speaking!), and filled with both sight and sound gags (the French song about Mao and the 'little red book' is hysterical), in-jokes (Godard's voice is often heard indistinctly interviewing the characters) and innumerable pop-culture references. However, it's undeniably exhausting to follow in detail, with the relentless spouting of Communist ideology and wordplay sometimes going over my head in the process...and, by the end, it all sort of runs out of steam anyway - what with most of the characters giving up on their enclosed life-style of theorizing and taking up menial jobs instead, apparently to put in practice what they had so far merely preached - or something similarly vague...er...vaguely similar (why, it's gotten me mouthing abstractions, now!). The young cast is headed by popular "Nouvelle Vague" (and, apparently, politically-involved) stars such as Jean-Pierre Leaud, Anne Wiazemsky - who, for a while, became Mrs. Godard - and Juliet Berto.

Still, the film's anarchic, anything-goes attitude provides a good deal of amusement throughout; especially enjoyable is Wiazemsky's naïve interview, aboard a train, of a noted literary figure who turned conservative (which rebounds on herself and exposes her own political confusion!) and her own botched assassination attempt towards the end. Despite its necessarily heavy-going and obviously dated nature, LA CHINOISE - which has been released on DVD, though not in R1 land - is not quite the embarrassment that was, say, WHAT STALIN DID TO WOMEN (1969; which I watched only a few days ago)...and it's unfortunate that, for the next decade or so, Godard renounced mainstream cinema for underground political film-making (from which period I still have a couple of titles, British SOUNDS [1969] and ICI ET AILLEURS [1975], lying in my "Unwatched Films On VHS" pile)!

14 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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