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“ Youth” 芳华 ( 2017)By Feng, Xiaogang

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Jane Shen
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“ Youth” 芳华 ( 2017)By Feng, Xiaogang

Here is the youtube link for this movie with English Subtitles:

The Movie “ Youth” 芳华 was directed by  Chinse famous director Feng, Xiaogang in 2017. This movie has been a huge dispute. However, disregard of the good or bad reviews, I think this movie is a good reflection of the Culture revolution and the people's thought and Chinese culture during that special period in China.

First, this movie about an art troupe during Culture Revolution. During Culture revolution, China has formed many art troupes to perform in teh frontier of war entertaining soldiers. They were selected young man and woman dancers and singers and orchestra players. They are identified as army. Need to practice and perform for the Revolution. They are dacing with tbe front lady holding a red flag, and crossing their shoulder with Tommy gun. It might looked weared to our Western viewers or high school students, but it could be explained that they are soldiers who perform for the soldiers as well.

Next, in the movie we can see many propaganda posters , red banners with propaganda slogans posted on the outside walls. performing stages, practicing room, even in the domitories. These slogans could speaks out the Chinese social evioronment of thar era and what they were be mulnupilated and brain washed.

Last,  about " Lei Feng 雷锋“。During culture revolution, the Chinese government has set a model soldier who's name is " LeiFeng". "Leifeng" has been sacrifice his own time, own money and own will to help others selffishlessly. " LeiFeng" died very young at the age of 22. But the name of " LeiFeng" has became a spirit of helping others without expecting paying back. In this movie, the main actor, Liu Feng has build up a fame among his troupe as a living " LeiFeng". He sacrificed his youth by helping others selfishlessness. He chosed to eat the broken dumplings while leaging the good ones for others to eat, he delivered gifts for his peer soldiers from their homes while he visiting other cities, he volunteered to be the dance partner with Xiaoping while others refused due to her body smell and weight. He held back his love to Dingding....But all these fames he had been built up through years had collapsted with an innocent love expression to his long time admired girl, Ding Ding. Liu Feng's passionate hug to Dingding had been witnessed by others and base on self protection, Dingding accused him for sexual harrasssment. Even the troupe leaders accused him and forced him to admit the sexual harrassment besides all his previous fames and good deeds. This sudden events waked Liu Feng out from previous fake fames. He threw away all his previous earned rewards, certificates away while loosing his hope he volunterily went to fight in the frontier.

I am not sure if I can show this movie to my students in the classroom due to the sensitive contents and few nude scences, but definately I will recommend to those who are interetested in Chinese culture revolution to watch.