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Morning Sun (2003)

TV Movie  |   |  Documentary  |  24 September 2003 (Finland)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 93 users   Metascore: 76/100
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About the shifting, unpredictable currents behind the Chinese Cultural Revolution, this documentary shows the various phases of the 12 years from 1964 through the purging of the Gang of ... See full summary »


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Title: Morning Sun (TV Movie 2003)

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Credited cast:
Qing Jiang ...
Herself (archive footage)
Nanyang Li ...
Rui Li ...
Shao-chi Liu ...
Himself (archive footage)
Ting Liu ...
Xiaohai Luo ...
Zedong Mao ...
Himself (archive footage)
Deng Xiaoping ...
Himself (archive footage)
Weili Ye ...
Luoke Yu ...
Himself (archive footage)
Enlai Zhou ...
Himself (archive footage)


About the shifting, unpredictable currents behind the Chinese Cultural Revolution, this documentary shows the various phases of the 12 years from 1964 through the purging of the Gang of Four at the end of 1976, with some retrospective information about the Long March and the 1958 Great Leap forward. It is built around contemporary interviews with survivors of three families: The most prominent is Liu Shaoqi, the President of China until 1967 & the highest ranking target of the revolution, his wife, Wang Guangmei and his daughter Liu Ting. The most complete coverage was given to a former secretary to Mao, Li Rui, who was banished when he questioned the Great Leap forward. He was rehabilitated in the early 60's, but not brought back into the Party and was banished again when the Cultural revolution started. Li's daughter Li Nanyang who was 11 or 12 when Li Rui was first imprisoned, was a staunch supporter of the Cultural Revolution, but she was never allowed to join the Party because of... Written by Maple-2

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cultural revolution | china | See All (2) »





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24 September 2003 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Aurinko nousee idästä  »

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An interesting documentary despite probably having limited appeal
11 August 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The creation of the People's Republic of China was supposed to be the birth of a new nation but the failures of the new systems left party leader Mao politically exposed and threatened to bring down what had been built up. Mao appealed directly to the people to stand firm against criticism of "their" country and, by doing so, made the battle one for unity rather than a critique of the mistakes that had been made by the Party. Those that criticised Mao were seen as class traitors and enemies of the state and the force behind this Cultural Revolution almost totally removed his opposition. With such events being unknown to the modern West, this documentary attempts to describe the events and the lives of those involved.

In the main it does this very well, using interviews and archive footage to really give a personal sense of place and genuine insight as to the times and the events. Not knowing a great deal about the world's next superpower, I found this informative and interesting and it effortlessly held my attention throughout, even if I did occasionally feel that it could have been punchier and more to the point. The time and place is hard to understand and certainly as a Western I did appreciate the fact that the film was mostly pretty clear; I would have liked it to link more to modern day China but that is not a failing of the film – just my expectations not being in line with the actual aims.

The talking heads are mostly very interesting although I did often find it difficult to keep up with who was who and what their various roles had been. The use of rather softly spoken Americans to provide translation did grate a little bit and I much preferred to just be left alone to read the subtitles and hear from the people in their own voices. Likewise the English woman doing the narration did come over a bit superior and she gave the documentary a rather detached and distant air that the majority of it did not warrant.

Overall this is an interesting documentary but, it must be said, that it will have limited appeal – a fact that can be seen by the low number of votes and comments for it on this very site. It uses the people and footage well to help explain what happened in the years covered and it mostly does it without being biased one way or the other to too much of an extreme.

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