North China Commune (1980)

Run Time - 80 min.  |   Countries - Canada  |  
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This informative documentary is the result of a cultural exchange between mainland China and Canada. The Canadians, led by director Tony Ianzelo and journalist Boyce Richardson chose to record life at a commune about four hours south of Beijing. For one month they filmed the activities, the facilities, the work, and the functions of the commune while they also interviewed young and old alike. Strict objectivity ruled every move, and not only because they were accompanied by fifteen Chinese officials wherever they went. The result is effective, it shows some innovative aspects of the commune as well as undercurrents that are chilling. Population control is mentioned along with medical care and the conservation of energy. There is no need to expound on the concept of the size of families being decided by the state and what this might do to the abortion rate, the adoption rate, and the chances of forced sterilization.