The Revolutionary

  • 1970
  • 1 HR 41 MIN
  • GP
  • Political

Well-made Kafkaesque story with undertones of 1984. Although THE REVOLUTIONARY was shot in London, its locale is never specified, and most of the lead actors are American. Voight is a radical student who feels that he has been betrayed by the political group to which he belongs because they are establishing a policy of cooperation while he thinks more more

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The Revolutionary

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Sidney Rittenberg (whose Chinese name is Li Dunbai) arrived in China as a GI Chinese language expert at the end of World War II. Discharged there, he joined the Chinese Communist Party, and was an active participant in the Chinese communist revolution and its aftermath. An intimate of the Party's leadership, including Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, he gained prominence at the Broadcast Administration, one of the most important agencies of government. But in the convulsions of a giant country constantly reinventing itself, he twice ran afoul of the leadership, and served a total of 16 years in solitary confinement. He returned to the United States in 1980. Rittenberg captivates the audience with his exceptional intellect, uncompromising honesty, and engaging personality. Over a five-year period, award-winning former-CBS journalist and China specialist, Irv Drasnin, interviewed Rittenberg to produce a compelling, complex and unique understanding of the 20th century's biggest revolution. From Sid first meeting Mao in the caves of Yan'an, to his becoming famous and powerful during the Cultural Revolution, to his battling insanity in solitary, his journey and his profound insight illuminate a much greater history--a history few Chinese are aware of, let alone many Americans, told by an American who was there.

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