Netherlands, 85 min
Dir: Yan Ting Yuen
During the ten years of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1965-1975), traditional opera was banned by Mao’s wife Jiang Qing, and replaced by a new kind of art in which the world was presented in a much simpler way: all the good guys were farmers and revolutionary soldiers, always singing and dancing in the broad spotlight; all the bad guys were landlords and anti revolutionaries, who wore dark make-up and were poorly lit.
Pure propaganda told in beautiful images and stories, the Yang Ban Xi incorporated the most modern techniques of cinematography, song, and dance, thus becoming a new art form in Chinese culture: Revolutionary model opera.
Yang Ban Xi, traces the rise and fall of Madam Mao's colorful propaganda operas during China’s Cultural Revolution and their renewed popularity in modern day China.
This documentary originally aired as part of Link TV's Doc-Debut series.
Visit the film’s official site at Shadow Distribution.
Read the L.A. Weekly’s review.