5 user 15 critic

Chung Kuo - Cina (1972)

A documentary on China, concentrating mainly on the faces of the people, filmed in the areas they were allowed to visit. The 220 minute version consists of three parts. The first part, ... See full summary »




Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A hunted man breaks into the castle at Oberwald to kill the Queen, but faints before doing so. He is Sebastian, the splitting image of the King who was assassinated on his wedding day. The ... See full summary »

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Monica Vitti, Paolo Bonacelli, Franco Branciaroli
I tre volti (1965)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A story with three segments that all adhered to the titular theme, The Three Faces of a Woman.

Directors: Michelangelo Antonioni, Mauro Bolognini, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Princess Soraya, Goffredo Alessandrini, Nando Angelini
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The movie director Niccolo has just been left by his wife. This gives him the idea of making a movie about women's relationships. He starts to search for a woman who can play the leading ... See full summary »

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Tomas Milian, Daniela Silverio, Christine Boisson
Il Grido (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A man wanders aimlessly, away from his town, away from the woman he loved, emotionally and socially inactive.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Gabriella Pallotta, Steve Cochran, Alida Valli
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Made of four short tales, linked by a story filmed by Wim Wenders. Taking place in Ferrara, Portofino, Aix en Provence and Paris, each story, which always a woman as the crux of the story, ... See full summary »

Directors: Michelangelo Antonioni, Wim Wenders
Stars: Fanny Ardant, Chiara Caselli, Irène Jacob
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

At Zabriskie Point, United States' lowest point, two perfect strangers meet; an undergraduate dreamer and a young hippie student who start off an unrestrained romance, making love on the dusty terrain.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Mark Frechette, Daria Halprin, Paul Fix
Le Amiche (1955)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young woman returns to her home town of Turin to set up a new fashion salon and gets involved with a troubled woman and her three wealthy friends.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Eleonora Rossi Drago, Gabriele Ferzetti, Franco Fabrizi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A new starlet is discovered and has ups and downs in Italian films.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Lucia Bosé, Gino Cervi, Andrea Checchi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A spurned lover seeks a rich man for revenge. A random onlooker -- who witnessed the public assault committed by the rich man against the lover -- seeks for monetary compensation for his ... See full summary »

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Rong Chang, Xudong Du, Qingzhuo Fang
I vinti (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Three stories of well-off youths who commit murders. In the French episode a group of high school students kill one of their colleagues for his money. In the Italian episode a university ... See full summary »

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Etchika Choureau, Jacques Sempey, Henri Poirier
Red Desert (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In an industrial area, Giuliana, an unstable woman, attempts to cope with life by starting an affair with a co-worker at the plant her husband manages.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Monica Vitti, Richard Harris, Carlo Chionetti
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Paola is a young, beautiful woman married to a wealthy entrepreneur. She meets her former lover Guido after seven years, but their relationship is marked by tragic events.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Lucia Bosé, Massimo Girotti, Ferdinando Sarmi


Uncredited cast:
Giuseppe Rinaldi ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)


A documentary on China, concentrating mainly on the faces of the people, filmed in the areas they were allowed to visit. The 220 minute version consists of three parts. The first part, taken around Beijing, includes a cotton factory, older sections of the city, and a clinic where a Cesarean operation is performed, using acupuncture. The middle part visits the Red Flag canal and a collective farm in Henan, as well as the old city of Suzhou. The final part shows the port and industries of Shanghai, and ends with a stage presentation by Chinese acrobats. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




See all certifications »





Release Date:

13 March 1974 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

China  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


(theatrical release) | (3 episodes) (TV)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to cinematographer Luciano Tovoli this documentary was shot mostly handheld with an 'Eclair NPR' 16mm camera using available light. See more »


Featured in I Wish I Knew (2010) See more »


Wo ai Beijing Tian'anmen
Music by Yueling Jin
Lyrics by Goulin Jin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The definitive documentation of China's Cultural Revolution
2 May 2013 | by See all my reviews

In 1972, when the People's Republic of China's 'Cultural Revolution' was in full swing, chairman Mao Zedong invited director Michelangelo Antonioni to the country to make a documentary on New China. Eager to document what was then very much a closed country, Antonioni accepted an eight week visit in which he would tour through Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai. With his small crew being led around by a 'tour guide', the footage they were being allowed to film was becoming increasingly limited, and often Antonioni would find himself resorting to semi- guerilla tactics in order to get a more honest depiction of the country. The resulting three-and-a-half hour documentary, split into three dividing sections, was detested by Mao and his wife Jiang Qing, and the film that is Chung Kuo China was banned in China, and Antonioni was accused of being anti-Chinese and a 'counter-revolutionary'.

The narrator Giuseppe Rinaldi tells us at the start of the film that they wanted "to show a picture of China, we can't offer more,". So Antonioni and his crew spend their time filming faces and the everyday activities of the people of China, in order to get a feel of a country living under communism. The footage is equally as fascinating as it is strangely eerie. The first section, which takes us around the city of Beijing, shows the famous city as a indistinguishable sea of expressionless faces, dressed in similar colours of blues, browns and greys, with nothing apparent to separate them by social class or even occupation. This is of course one of the defining ideals of socialism - true equality - but this doesn't look like a liberated nation, and actually paints a picture of misery and quiet suppression.

The film does capture some wonderful activities, however, namely the squirm-inducing Caesarian performed with nothing to numb the pain but acupuncture, and the footage of workers performing Qigong in the streets (and one gentleman whilst riding a bike). But Antonioni wasn't interested in just filming social habits, and his determination to get a real grasp of the country comes from the moment when he escapes from his tour guide (he refused to stop the car) to film a small factory-based community, where the inhabitants stare at the camera with nervous curiosity, possibly at the first Westerner they've ever come across. It's a very patient approach, a trademark of the great auteur, but often the camera lingers for too long, capturing very little, and the wonderful acrobat show at the climax proves a welcome piece of entertainment. Yet this is no doubt the definitive documentation of a period of Chinese history now looked back on in disdain and embarrassment.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed