TOVE IREN SPISSOY GERHARDSE
Thanks to brave people from China who have experienced and recaptured the cruelty of Mao China in their artistic works, we are able to get an understanding of what it must have been like.
One of these brave and very talented people is Tien Zhuangzhuang, the director of “The Blue Kite” (1992). The movie was first censored by people from the Chinese government because of it’s political “leanings.” Zhuangzhuang was able to finish the movie with financial support from a Dutch distributor, but he was denied to make other movies in his own country.
The censors had their reasons for stopping the production of the movie. The movie, which deals with the Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957, The Great Leap Forward and three years of famine, and the Cultural Revolution, is about the horrible experiences Zhuangzhuang had himself.
“There are simply too many films that don’t touch upon real life … we have to write history as we understand and remember it,” Zhuangzhuang said.
The story is about a little boy, Tian, and his mother, who in the movie is married three times. Her first husband dies in a labor camp for re-education, the second one dies from overwork and malnutrition and the last one is taken by the Red Guards.
These men’s experiences are descriptive for the different revolutions between 1953 and 1967.
The movie focuses on the political happenings through the interaction and the emotions within the family.
There is also a great metaphoric meaning. The kite represents his father, who fixes and repairs, and also represents the care of the Communist Party.
By the end, the kite is destroyed, and thus, Communist China is doomed. This is only one of the many tragedies these two have to go through.
The truth about the cruelty and the hopelessness is described the way the director remembered it.