Tales of Revolution

"What you need is a good Struggle Session, my loose-lipped friend..."

Just uploaded is a review of Bruce Beresford's Mao's Last Dancer [M], a promising but rather melodramatic docu-drama based on Li Cunxin's autobiography, and built around the international incident caused by his desire to remain in the United States while on a dance exchange program in 1981.

The film has yet to be released on DVD in the U.S., but Canada's Mongrel has issued the film on DVD and Blu-ray. The BR wasn't available for review, but from the specs it seems both the bare bones DVD and somewhat goosed BR are derived from the Australian editions.

In any event, the review is now online, as is the soundtrack album [M], which was released online in the U.S. by Lakeshore Records, featuring Christopher Gordon's strong orchestral score + classical extracts.

Because Mao's Last Dancer makes less than a stellar impact but pricks an interest in China's rcent history, I've also reviewed the PBS series China: A Century of Revolution [M], released by Zeitgeist. It's a superb, fact-heavy series created by Sue Williams and Kathryn Pierce Dietz that frankly everyone should watch (or try to, given it is 6 hours long) because it's such a wonderful primer on the country's political and recent cultural history.

Mark R. Hasan, Editor


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