Writer and film-maker Felix Greene travelled 15,000 miles by train, plain, jeep and even camel to make this record of life in China 17 years after the Communist Revolution. How much of the film is spontaneous and how much staged is a matter of conjecture, but it certainly gives a good wide-ranging picture of life in China over 50 years ago. Short vignettes include the Japanese invasion, civil war, a demoralised country in 1947, mass parades to install unity and a sense of worth, industrialisation, Shanghai, Peking Opera and Dance, traditional music and storytelling, tai-chi, daily life, infant schools. shopping, slums, medicine, literacy, religion, sport, Western classical music, Mongolia, rice fields, village life and democracy, village factories and huge collective efforts to build infrastructure.
Finally the film asks ‘What of the future for China? Could they have foreseen it becoming the second greatest power on earth?
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