A young Chinese woman experiences the horrors of a state gone mad. Based on a true story. [Dir: James F. Collier/ Julia Nickson Soul, Russell Wong, James Shigeta/ 103 min/ Drama/ Escape from Socialism, Government as Bigot]
Yee’s particular problem was that she was born into the wrong social class—that is, as a child, this daughter of a successful doctor had enjoyed an opulent lifestyle and had attended a Christian school. Following Mao’s rise to power, having such a nonproletarian past became, quite literally, a crime. As Mao’s control of China gradually solidified, she and her family were subjected to increasing cruelties. All of her family’s property, including their home, was confiscated. She was brutally interrogated and made to do frequent “self-criticism.” Her father was used as a guinea pig to test new drugs, and died in an experiment. And finally, she was sent to a forced labor camp.
All the while, the communists tried to wring the religion out of her. Ironically, their relentless effort to force her to renounce Christianity just rekindled her long-forgotten faith, and that faith in turn sustained her throughout her ordeal. In the end, she and her surviving family managed to get out of the country to Hong Kong, partly by duplicity, and partly by sheer luck.
This is a B picture, but its touching story of life under socialism is nonetheless worth seeing. It’s especially recommended for libertarian Christians, who will likely appreciate its emphasis on religious faith. Libertarians generally will see the film as an instructive historical exposé that rips the lid off of socialist rhetoric to reveal the envy-motivated violence underneath.
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