Yang Ban Xi: The 8 ModelWorks (Yang Ban Xi, de 8 modelwerken) (2005)
Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 20
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 7
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Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 3
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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 236
A documentary musical about the rise and fall of Madam Mao's colorful propaganda opera's during the 1965-1975 Cultural Revolution in China and their renewed popularity in modern day China.These 8 Revolutionary model operas were called the Yang Ban Xi. Based on traditional Chinese stories and adapted to the likes of Mao's wife Jiang Qing Min, the first lady of the Cultural Revolution, these operas presented the world in a much simpler way. All the good guys were farmers and revolutionary
Jan 5, 2005 Wide
Apr 10, 2007
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This enthralling documentary, a Dutch production by Hong Kong-born female director Yan Ting Yuen, not only reclaims the Chinese propaganda opera but niftily positions it in the rush of Chinese cultural history.
A proper labor of love profiling many of the principles involved in the making of the films, peppered with a generous helping of wonderful clips.
Too often ... the film remains a hostage to its ambitious construction rather than simply using the opportunity to draw back the veil on a little-documented era.
It's a worthy subject, but its credibility is damaged by some banal fabrications.
The director Yan-Ting Yuen revisits China's recent past to explore the history and legacy of one of the strangest byproducts of totalitarian madness: the revolutionary spectacular.
Entertaining and informative, but it suffers from distracting voice-overs of what are supposed to be Madame Mao's thoughts. Too bad.
The result often feels disorganized or confusing...but the basic material is fascinating.
Comes to some obvious conclusions, but for the most part is pretty fascinating.
Yan opens a window on the past that Westerners in particular will find almost too bizarre for words, yet which never degenerates to the level of outright mockery.
Mao shows his fun side in world class camp taken very seriously.
Director Yan Ting Yuen has made an odd combination of the documentary and musical genres that is worth seeing simply for its bizarre feel.
What lingers is the observation of the thoughtful young artist who admires these productions: He believes it's the function of art to hide the reality that makes you shudder. Yuen would have been better off exposing more of that reality.
Filmmaker Yuen applies a patina, not only of acceptance, but of humor and irony, to what is often and easily viewed with a dour expression.
What might have been a very enlightening documentary about Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution has some very strange artistic choices that blunt the impact.
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