China (mainland), France, NEWS, Released docs — 02/15/2012 10:29 AM

Mao’s Great Famine (released doc)

Posted by



Directors: Patrick Cabouat and Philippe Grangereau

With the expertise of Chinese author Yang Jisheng, author of Tombstone, and Dutch professor Frank Dikötter, author of Mao’s Great Famine

Available versions: English, French


“Between 1958 and 1962, China lived through tragedy on an epic scale. The “Great Leap Forward” – conceived by Mao so that China could drive industrial output ahead of Great Britain and achieve autonomy from the might of the neighbouring USSR – led to a catastrophic famine resulting in the death of between 36 and 55 million people.

“Three years of natural disasters”: it is in these terms that the Chinese Communist Party today justifies this terrible outcome. But the tragedy was masked by an official lie, because while China was starving to death, the grain stores were full.

Based on previously unheard testimony by survivors, rare archive footage, secret documents and interviews with the leading historians on this catastrophe, this film provides, for the first time, an insight into the folly of the “Great Leap Forward”. It examines the mechanisms and political decisions that led to famine, stripping away the incredible secrecy surrounding the campaign, and exposing the lie which continues even today as to who was responsible, and the true human cost. (Zed website)

Distributor: ZED

Video trailer

Film page on facebook

Article on (American premiere on 15 2 12)

Film page on FIPA website

Related posts:

Asia Cinema Fund backs diverse slate (Film Business Asia)
Asia's first documentary on AIDS patient's family debuts (Focus Taiwan)
"Planet of Snail" touching in many ways (Korean Herald)
Money and Honey (2011, Taiwan)
Submission deadline for DMZ Korean International Documentary Festival

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.