Mao’s China – The Red Terror

When Mao Zedong called for the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” in China in 1966, the giant empire plunged into a decade of terror.

In the name of communist ideology, China’s fanatical youth formed “Red Guards” and established a despotic rule in which children arrested their parents, neighbours denounced each other and unleashed mobs beat “class enemies” to death. 

Its initiator Mao Zedong, who rose from a farmer’s son in the provinces to become the “Great Chairman” of the Chinese Communist Party, had united the Middle Kingdom after decades of civil wars – and proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in 1949. And thus transformed modern China into a new power factor in the Cold War of the great powers. When Mao met US President Richard Nixon shortly before his death, the disintegrating former Chinese empire had become a global economic power. The revolutionary accepted the death of millions of people through the Red Terror as well as the destruction of civil society – a trauma from which China still suffers today.

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  • Year: 2017
  • Duration: 107 mins
  • Production: Spiegel TV
  • Director:
  • Available Versions: ENG, GER
  • Country of production: Germany