Breaking With Old Ideas                         The Red Detachment of Women

Two Films from the Chinese Cultural Revolution 

Shortly after Mao Tsetung died in October of 1976, his closest allies were arrested and the new regime repudiated the cultural revolution and set China on its current course.  I was a strong supporter of the goals of the Cultural Revolution and thought it was important to save as much of the history of that period as we could.  I quite liked the revolutionary operas. Yes, they were drawn in broad strokes but the intent — to use art as a way of encouraging people to strive for a new kind of society — was revelatory to some of us raised on Hollywood fare. Whatever their artistic value, there was no doubt in my mind that they were of considerable historical and cultural value and should be saved if at all possible. I managed to make contact with some Maoist oriented people in Hong Kong and they managed to ship us, clandestinely, 35mm prints of both these films. Voyager did eventually transfer the films to video but we only released it on VHS.

Breaking With Old Ideas  (wikipedia)                            The Red Detachment of Women (wikipedia)
35mm film cans for both films                  1” tapes for Breaking With Old Ideas