Hibiscus Town

1496 Words 6 Pages
“Hibiscus Town” is a 1986 movie which depicts the constantly changing social structure of peasant life in the period leading up to and during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The film looks at peasant life in a small town in China, Hibiscus Town, which acts as a microcosm of China where we are able to observe how the momentum of the Cultural Revolution moved to redefine and transform class boundaries. “Hibiscus Town” concerns itself with the life of Hu Yuyin, the film's protagonist, and how her new label as a class enemy dramatically changes her circumstances. The film begins by introducing us to Yuyin and her husband Guigui as peasants whose hard work and long hours making bean curd have allowed them to accrue modest financial success …show more content…
The goal was to simultaneously develop industry and agriculture through the commune system and the expansion of small-scale local industry using materials at hand to produce consumer goods (Fairbank and Goldman 2006: 370). However, the prohibition on private land ownership and the destruction of usable items for raw materials (e.g., melting down pots for metal) prevented peasants from being able to sustain themselves, which led to millions of deaths at the hands of starvation and malnutrition. In the wake of this disaster, the CCP had to salvage their reputation. They did this through a mass movement of rectification called the Socialist Education Campaign, which in turn led to the Four Cleanups Campaign. The Four Cleanups Campaign aimed to rectify village cadres who misused their authority, and demonstrated the Party's efforts to deal with corruption and poor party leadership. Work-teams of external cadres were assembled to assess the conduct of local cadres, and were supposed eradicate any perpetrators, who came to include not only local cadres but also any who fell within any of the “Five Black Categories” (landlords, rich peasants, counterrevolutionaries, Rightists, and bad elements). Fairbanks and Goldman (2006) describe this practice:
The procedure was reminiscent of the original land-reform measures against landlords. Work-team members settled in the village for some weeks, cultivated relations with the poor who had grievances, compiled charges
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