To Live Paper (100points)
Background: To Live (1994) is a film that tells of a families journey from 1940s to 1970s China. The family experiences many of the events that we discussed in class ranging from Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang, the Communist Revolution, the Great Leap Forward, and finally the Cultural Revolution. It is the task of history student to watch, analyze, and relate the film back to what we learned in class.
Description: Students will be asked to write a four page paper analyzing the film. Questions will be provided to help relate the film back to the class lecture. Students will also be provided primary sources to help in the analysis. At least, one of these sources must be used in some way. The goal of the paper is NOT a film review. Rather, it is a critic of film’s historicity (to the best of the students ability).
Primary Sources Provided:
1 Sources of THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD
3 Sources on THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION
2 Sources on CHINESE WOMEN
5 Sources Overall (*one overlap)
• At least two sources must be used.
• The paper should be at least 4 pages
• Double spaced; Times New Roman 12.
• Use of at least one primary sources
• Information must be cited: Simply throw the document name and author in parentheses.
• Proper heading and title.
• Direct quotations are strongly encouraged. However, it is understandably difficult to direct quote a film. So this is not necessary.
• Explain what the film is about
• Provide necessary background information
• Have your last statement of your intro paragraph state your findings or argument (your “thesis”) Is this film historical accurate?
(The body paragraphs can be structured anyway you like, but make sure to include the following somewhere in the writing)
• Answers any number of the following questions.
• In the beginning of the movie, Fugui seems to represent the corruption and decadence of landlord class in China prior to the Communist revolution. How does the film display this? What does he do wrong? Is he a good Confucian? What changes?
• Long’er, Fugui’s gambling buddy, is meant to represent old culture. What happens to him? Why does this happen? How does this relate to what we learned in class?
• The Kuomintang Army interrupts Fugui during one of his puppet troop shows. How are the Nationalist army [KMT] portrayed in this movie?
• Comparatively how is the People’s Liberation Army [Communist] portrayed after they overrun Fugui?
• Lao Quan, the older man who is part of the Nationalist army: How is he portrayed? What does this say about the Nationalist cause?
• In what ways does the family try to prove they’re communists? Why do they find the need to do this?
• What are some examples of things the family has to do during the Great Leap Forward? How does the family eat?
• What happens to Youqing (the son) during the Great Leap Forward? How does this portray the movement in the film?
• What did you learn about the Cultural Revolution? Specifically, from the wedding scene? Why were Fugui’s puppets burned?
• What happens to Chenshung and Mr. Niu during the Cultural Revolution?
• What happens to Fengxia in the Cultural Revolution? What happened to all the doctors?
• How is Jiazhen (the wife) portrayed? Strong? Submissive? What statement does she make about women in modern china?
• What do you think the significance of Fengxia inability to speak is?
• How is Mao Zedong portrayed?
• More questions answered does NOT equal a higher grade [Quality>Quantity]
• Those of you who may have a difficult time with history may wish to answer more questions to reach four pages. However, good analysis and a concise paper is the primary goal. It is possible for a student to answer a single question (or his/her own question) and achieve an A
• Make sure your answers relate back to the lecture.
• Use at least one of the primary sources and describe how it relates to the film
• Summarize what you did
• Restate your findings
• Make a guess as to why this film is banned in China
• Wrap up
*Please only use sources provided about and on the link and attached files!