Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
In China, in the 1920s, various regions were under the control of Kuomintang-related groups, other regions were under control of communist-inspired groups, and still others were controlled by independent warlords beholden to neither faction. In this story, a group of newly-committed young communist intellectuals, (students) have just met and made a pledge to each other and to their cause. Forces in their personal histories lead each of them in different directions: one of them loses his social ideals and simply becomes a painter, another is killed while attempting to assassinate a counterrevolutionary leader. The remaining two are still faithful to the communist cause and are inspired by the writings of Mao Tse Tung. Not too long after the Shanghai Massacre, they join the Peasant's Army and head for the remote province of China where Mao's forces hold sway. This film, made in 1964, was kept on the shelves for years because at the time of its filming, "intellectuals" were held in great disrepute: the Cultural Revolution was beginning at that time. Director Yi Lin is recounting his own story in this somewhat autobiographical movie.
allegiance, artist, assassination, Communism, death, intellectual, student, switching-loyalty, warlord