Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
An attractive blonde woman in her late 20's/early 30's entered just ahead of me. We looked at each other and she consciously gave a look of ennui.
"Holiday travel," I smiled in commiseration. "I used to wear a suit when I flew but then I'd have to take off my belt, and I'd have to take off my dress shoes because of the nails, so I'll only wear jeans and sneakers now."
"I know. I have a pierced belly-button and that sets it off."
"Oh my God, I bet." I laughed.
"Now I don't wear any jewelry. I have to take all my jewelry off, all my piercings. I'm pierced down there too," she said and motioned below her waist.
"OH MY GOD!" The thoughts appeared and popped as quickly as soap bubbles. "I never thought of that. Yeah, I guess that would set it off."
"Yeah. Stainless steel. The thing kept going off and I told them I'm pierced down there. So I had to go into a room with a lady and I had to show them."
"OHMYGOD! They had to look?!"
"Yeah, I had to get undressed and show them, 'See I told you I'm pierced.' "
I searched for something else to say to stay on topic but the line was moving, I couldn't think quickly enough and we got separated before boarding the plane and I lost her.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
My first visit to the State Attorney’s Office as a defense attorney was deemed so sensitive an occasion that the security guards had been notified in advance. I made it through the first checkpoint, the metal detectors, without incident, at which time Stage Two was commenced: the security guards notified the acting head of Investigations, Bob Jordan, and his second in command, Jim Carr. Bob and Jim came down to the lobby and personally approved further invasion. I got my name tag from the reception area and proceeded to Stage Three where the A.S.A. with whom I had a scheduled meeting assumed custody of me at the door to 2North.
After our meeting the A.S.A. offered to “walk me out,” not just out of her office to the doors to 2North, but off the second floor entirely, into the elevators and out into the lobby where the chain of custody was handed back to the security guards who saw me out of the building entirely.
The state of high alert was lifted, the all-clear signal given. The next day I was told that Security had a list of undesirables to keep a watch out for and I was “on the list and he’s staying on the list.”
Thursday, August 20, 2009
A Million Drops of Blood: "State Dongfeng Farm," film (2009) by Hu Jie, translation by Ye Weiyou. Part I
( Part I )
Manuscript of the Documentary<<>>
(‘Dongfeng’ means ‘east wind’)
Xie Chuanbao: At the end of 1949 our guerrilla detachment was formed. The song of guerrillas. (singing) “We are all expert marksmen,
able to kill every enemy with one bullet. We are all fast-walking forces, fearing no high mountains or deep waters; everywhere in the secret woods there are our camping sites; at the high hillocks our good class brothers are numerous. Though no food, no clothing, our enemies are to provide us…….”
The Title of the Film: State Dongfeng Farm
Slogans on the Street: You Are Welcome to State-Run Mile Dongfeng Farm
Road Sign: Mile Dongfeng Farm
Subtitle: It’s Time to Begin the Performance
Xie Chuanbao: ( former rightist) Now I will talk according to my review. That place was first to be taken by a group sentenced to reform through labor. After we arrived, they moved. When we got there, we were called production supervisors.
Li Zeheng: (former rightist) This is the history-truth picture I drew at the age of 22. After the group sentenced to reform through labor moved, we built a cowshed (ox fence)
孙梓川: (原右派分子) 对待“右派”解除劳教又降为监督生产。在法律上没有这一条的。
Sun Zichuan: (former rightist) There is no such a bill in the law that the rightists already relieved of reeducation through labor are demoted to production supervisors.
Wu Deben: (former rightist) I was labeled ‘rightist’ and escorted to Dongfeng Farm.
张 路：(原右派分子) 他对我说：六个月以后，回省安排工作。
Zhang Lu: (former rightist) He said to me: in six months I would be sent back to a job in my province.
Zhang Lu’s wife: After he left, we started long-time separation. (5/7, Sun.)
Wang Zuomin (former rightist) How to deal with so many rightists? You should not put them into jail, let alone kill them. It’s not safe to keep them in their original offices, so here or there should be found to place them. Thus, many farms were transformed to production-supervision farms for rightists to stay.
Liu Jiaqiang (Sectary of Party committee and the farm head in 1990) At that time labeled-rightists and historical-problem victims were one thousand people.
Wang Zuomin: (former rightist) With criminals sentenced to reform through labor moved, “rightists” were sent there to reform. Who were to carry that task? They were the unreliable “mid-rightists”, but they were not told so (you are mid-rightists), just told them that they were cadres transformed to do manual labor in the countryside.
Liu Jiaqiang: They were all inside-controlled victims with various class-original or historical problems, etc. etc. , altogether 800
people, who were then formed Dongfeng Farm.
Zhong Luihong (former cadre of production team in Dongfeng Farm) We were told to stay here as core members to deal with
Wang Zuomin: (former rightist) In a broad sense, it could be put ‘administer the right with the right’, i.e. to reform the real “rightists” with “mid-Rightists”
Hu Tongzeng: (former rightist) It was the use of political violence to put those people together there.
Zhong Luihong: Three production teams were organized, Team 1, 2, and 3. In Jan. 1958, opening up wasteland and farming began.
Xie Chuanbao: Then I was appointed to brick-laying worksite to make bricks and fire/bake kiln.
Hu Tongzeng: We were said to still have citizenship but actually no civil rights we had.
Xie Chuanbao: I was originally a Youth League secretary in Mengzi county Party committee.
Hu Tongsheng: I was a doctor.
Wu Deben (former rightist): I graduated in 1951 from Law Department of Law Institute, Sichuan University.
Sun Zichuan (former rightist): I graduated from a military and political college, called Jin-Ji-Lu-Yu (Shanxi, Hebei, Shandong, Henan provinces) Military and Political College which then changed to Huabei Military & Political College.
Wu Deben (former rightist): I was appointed to Policy-Research Section of the then provincial people’s committee.
Li Zeheng (former rightist) I am a returned overseas Chinese.
Zhang Haibo (former rightist) I was in the army. ( 6/7, Mon. )
Zhang Lu (former rightist): I was an inspector for the organizational department, deputy to the chief of the depart.
Wang Zuomin: During the time of labeling rightists, I was office director of a local county government.
Xie Chuanbao: (former rightis) At the end of 1957, we were told to launch a rectification movement.
Wu DebenLfoprmer rightist) People were mobilized to greatly air views( mainly in politics )
Hu Tongzeng: (former rightist) I said nothing in the movement of airing views.
Zhao Hanke (former rightist) While we were doing revolution (with CCP), whoever said anything bad about CP,
we would fight against him at the risk of our life.
Hu Tongzeng: After being mobilized once and again, I yet did not say anything.
Wu Deben: We were then responding to the Party’s call/appeal---airing views.
Xie Chuanbao: To make the rectification very brisk, we went to read their big-character posters, caricatures and poems
on the wall. They were ahead of us.
Wu Deben: On the newspapers it was the same words---blame not the speaker but be warned by his words.
Xie Chuanbao: As a Party member (communist), I did whatever the Party told me to.
Zhang Haibo: It was ok that I remain silent, but I could not tell a lie.
Wu Deben: A person should have a sense of justice.
Xie Chuanbao: At that time, there was no mention of “anti-rightist”, just mentioned rectification movement.
(Former news release explained: The Central Committee of the CPC has given the instruction in rectification movement,
the broad masses and patriotic personages are responding actively. They made much helpful criticism and suggestion to
all-level Party organizations, to party members and to cadres.)
People’s Daily: <<>’s Rectification Movement Is the Important Development of Our Socialist Democracy>>
Xie Chuanbao: In the rectification movement we were to make suggestions to leaders/authorities.
Zhang Lu: How good it sounded---let all air views, but when we did, we were labeled “rightists”.
Zhang Haibo (former rightist in the Thirteenth Troup) : All labeled rightists had to be dismissed from the army.
Zhang Lu: At that time I could not bear it in my mind. ( 8/7, Wed. )
Feng Yongqi: (former May 7 solder of the farm) Zheng Chun and Wang Jingru were attacked as anti-Party clique.
(Note:“May 7” was named after Mao’s May 7th Directive of 1966)
Li Zeheng: Inexplicably I became a rightist./It was quite baffling why I became a rightist.
Zhang Lu: I was accused of one of that Zheng & Wang anti-Party clique. In the provincial organizational department there were altogether 64 people, including odd-jobmen, 16 people were labeled in that clique.
Xie Chuanbao: With a good family background (poor people belong to this group), coming from a guerilla forces, I had no worry.
Sun Zichuan: During the Anti-Rightist Movement I was in Monzicaoshuang farm, the biggest farm in Yunnan province, it belonged to the public security office of Yunnan (Southwest of China)
Hu Tongzeng: At first I did not quite believe that there should be a percentage of labeled rightists and a perecentage to be sent for reeducation through labor.
Feng Yongqi: Leader Du Wanmei was in charge of labeling rightists in Yunnan cultural circle. Fearing to be blamed for being Right deviationist because of not having accomplished the task, he took Chen Shaochun to fill up the percentage. Chen was vice president of Yunnan Art School.
Zhang Lu: It was Xie Fuzhi’s action, Xie was one of the Gang of Five, Mao Zedong’s go-getter.
Xie Chuanbao: In three days I drew 103 caricatures.
Zhang Lu: The Anti-Rightist Movement basically destroyed the former underground communists in Yunnan (before 1949).
Xie Chuanbao: The content of my drawing was that some leader cared too little for thrift, it was all the state electricity, even in the day time a light was still on. It was easy to draw a bulb with light shinning. Above the picture I wrote many words saying that the rectification going on was the best chance of developing democratic style of work.
Zhang Lu: Not just in Yunnan, underground communists(before 1949) of the whole country were the target of attack.
Xie Chuanbao: In the period of analysis and criticism they said that all my caricatures demonstrated my deep-rooted hatred
for the Party.
Zhang Lu: When I was sent for reform through labor, she (his wife) was driven out in dire poverty.
Xie Chuanbao: Then I said that it was the Party branch that sent me to be an editor.
张 路：就把她赶出人事科。 右派老婆不能在人事部门，要害部门。
Zhang Lu: She (my wife) was driven out of Personnel Section as a rightist’s wife should not work in the key department.
Zhang Lu’s wife: In such a situation, not only I should not have any ideas, but also all the people dared not speak in fear of being attacked again as a result of saying even one wrong word. So it was not that I feared.
Wang Zuomin: On April 1st of 1958 it was announced at a whole county assembly that I was expelled from the Party and to be sent
for labor under supervision. April 1st is All Fools Day.
Xie Chuanbao: It was to be criticized like that.
Wang Zuomin: Over 100 people were announced like that, including secretary of the county Party committee, vice-county magistrate, many section chiefs, and a lot of high and elementary school teachers.
Xie Chuanbao: Criticism went on for over ten days. Not permitted to explain, I was demobilized and expelled from the Party.
Hu Tongzeng: With different historical background, cultural level and education, like attracts like, we were driven to the same place,
driven by a political storm. So there were all kinds of people among the several hundreds.
Liu Jiaqiang: (former secretary of the Party Committee in Dongfeng Farm, farm head) Then all the rightists of the 13th armed forces
were in our place. There was a vice military director in the political department, over 100 people.
Zhong Luihong ( former cadre of production team in Dongfeng Farm ) Rightists there were not considered staff, directly called
Wang Zuomin: All the hard, dirty and tiring work was for us to do; moreover, we had to bear personal insult.
Zhao Hanke: It was not that they were able to direct intellectuals, but it was, just like Monkey King, intellectuals had a jinguzhou,
The moment you move, I will read the jinguzhou, that was it, very easy to treat the victims.( Note: jinguzhou means
the Incantation of Golden Hoop, used by the Monk in the novel Pilgrimage to the West <>to keep the Monkey King under control—inhibition.)
Subtitle: Labor . Spiritual Reform ( 9/7, Thurs.)
杨校长：(东风农场第三小学 校长) 以前的右派一般都是下放到整个农场的所谓农场边疆的边疆，比较贫苦的地方。
Headmaster Yang (former headmaster of #3 Elementary School in Dongfeng Farm) Those rightists were usually sent to the
frontier region of the whole farm, relatively poverty-stricken areas.
(photographer Li Zeheng)
Hu Tongzen: The local places’ names sounded terrible, one was “jackals pit”, i.e. wolf pit. Another was called “ hang by neck slope”
Wang Jiayou: (former worker of the farm) There were only 20 households in the farm, it was said that the wild weeds in front
of and behind the houses were enough to be used as fuel.
Hu Tongzeng: Bleak and desolate with creeping weeds which were taller than a man.
Zhao Fuyun: How to deal with such a wild desolated place? Just to make those rightists open and dig up with hoes.
Wang Jiayou: (former worker of that farm) Then the youngest rightists were 18 and 19 years old.
Xie Chuanbao: I usually behaved well in the farm, we often had appraisal through comparison.
Zhang Lu: Oh, every week we had to have inspection and confession.
Xie Chuanbao: We had a mid-month appraisal and a general one in a whole month.
Question: What could the best appraised/graded get?
Xie Chuanbao: Nothing. The results of the appraisal/grading were handed to group leaders as a record of your reform.
Zhong Luihong: Admonition was that you should well face up to the reform and try to return to the people’s rank earlier. ( 10/7, Fr. )
Xie Chuanbao: One way to punish the worst graded was deducting a meal or meals.
Li Zeheng: Those leaders told us: “ Open your heart to the Party and become a new person.” I still wrote those slogans.
Question: Were there any women rightists in the farm?
Wang Jiayou (former worker in the farm): Yes, many, about 30 percent.
Feng Yongqi: (former May 7th solder there) When they came in 1958, there were no cattle, man pulled plough for two years.
Liu Jiaqiang (former secretary of the Party committee in the farm, farm head) No cattle then, to open up waste land needed
five or six men to pull plough(s).
Wang Jiayou: Most of those who came were teachers.
Feng Yongqi: When asked “Hard?”, the women pulling the plough answered: “ No, not hard, not tiring.”
Wang Jiayou: The ploughs we used for farming were made of wood, no iron ones then.
Wang Zuomin: At the beginning we got there, the ‘Great Leap Forward’ and ‘Three Red Banners’ movements started.
Xie Chuanbao: The ‘General Line’ then was to build socialism by achieving greater, faster, better and more economical results.
That was implemented on the instruction of the Party Central Committee, that was the slogan.
Zhao Hanke: In that situation many people worked, labored really as masters of the society. Most people had absolute sincerity
to the Communist Party.
Li Zeheng: There were no cattle and we had to pull ploughs.
Feng Yongqi: As a result, our shoulders were cut through pulling the plough, we wept secretly in the quilt at night. (11/7, Sat.)
Liu Jiaqiang: The intensity of labor went well beyond the human limit.
Zhao Hanke: With laboring at the risk of my life I just let people know that I was not against the Party and socialism.
Liu Jiaqiang: Make an example of cutting and collecting corns, in one day to cut down and bundle 15 mu (about 1 hectare)
of corns was one person’s task. For that toil, one had to finish 5 mu by daybreak and go on with all his might till
10 o’clock in the evening.
Wu Deben: Thus, in 1958 we reaped over 300,000 jin ( over 150,000 kilograms) of corns.
Zhao Wanke: We should admit that the then farm leaders, secretaries of the Party committee well carried out policies with high standerd. In our today’s view, they were true communists who for real democracy and liberty got to Yanan (Shanxi province, a revolutionary base) For Yanan was a sacred place of democracy, right? They were the people fighting for real democracy and freedom, for building a true happy society, that was their ideal and they were that kind of people.
Sun Zichuan: In Shiping Yanzidong (a house of reeducation through labor) many people lost life, most of them died mainly of hunger.
Zhao hanke: But they left. One of them was called Wang Anguang, secretary of the Party committee, he was appointed to county Party secretary in Jianshui. He was attacked as Right-Opportunist, dragged to every county for struggle against him.
Sin Zichuan: After Yanzidong House of Reeducation through Labor was repealed, he was transferred to Volonggu Farm at
Kaiyuan (a place name) where I worked. In Aug. of 1958, that farm was also repealed and merged to Dongfeng Farm.
Zhao Hanke: Later it was the man Ma Dinggui who took Volonggu Farm and used a method crueler than slave owners did.
Xie Chuanbao: At that time we were assessed big, middle and small stomach.
Wang Yuanqing: For food, strong labor force---eight liang a day (close to 400 grams); 2nd force—six liang, the most miserable
was the weak labor force that could not finish the heavy task.
Xie Chuanbao: The so-called big stomach was equal to today’s three small bowls of rice.
Wang Zuomin: Through labor to remake one’s counter-revolutionary world-outlook, thoroughly reform oneself, be reborn
for a new person.
（右派群像 张路 摄影）
( The Whole Rightists’ Appearance, photographer: Zhang Lu )
Hu Tongzeng: But in fact it was simply a concentration camp.
Li Zeheng: In that camp we were oppressed in many ways which can not be expressed clearly in a few words.
Zhao Hanke: In those years what did we have? Except the right for labor, no other right. (12/7, Sun.)
张 路：这个是我照得，使锄头的这个是蒙自地委的。掏个窝窝，这边这个点花生, 种点肥料的.
Zhang Lu: This picture was taken by me, the one who held a hoe was working at Mengzi prefectural Party committee. To make a
nest, here for peanut and some fertilizer.
Wu Deben: From the next year we reaped more than 450,000 kilograms of grain.
Zhao Fuyun: It was so inhuman during the Great Leap Forward----beating, hanging and locking up.
Li Zeheng: Ours was named Changtangzi Production Team. People called the Party branch secretary Man Tingfu, King of Hell.
Xie Chuanbao: He always had some work for you, never let you free,
Li Zeheng: I often failed to accomplish their increasing-like-wind quota.
Xie Chuanbao: We had to get up for labor with whistle in the cold darkness.
Li Zeheng: When failed to finish the heavy task, I was tortured with carrying bitter thorn on naked back, not shouldering.
Xie Chuanbao: While shelling peanuts for sowing we had to suffer criticism-struggle meeting along with inspection and appraisal.
Li Zwwheng: They said you had to carry back the bitter thorn on naked back, without it, you would not be well reformed.
Zhao Hanke: In the farm leaders’ words: it was to split and disintegrate. (13/7, Mon.)
Wang Zuomin: The things the leaders for inspection did not want to manage ( struggle against rightists),other unqualified cadres did
not bother to do that either, so the only way was to let rightists fight against each other.
Xie Chuanbao: When hearing some rightist’s self-criticism, I would have to say he/she still had some shortcomings, etc..
Wang Zuomin: In those years people tried to behave left so they often pointed out some person’s self-criticism not incisive.
Xie Chuanbao: Everyone had to, against his will, put a big label on oneself.
Wang Zuomin: But some else would say “your self-criticism is not only not incisive, but is also going-on spreading poisonous ideas.”
Xie Chuanbao: To other people’s criticism, we had to express our attitude.
Wang Zuomin: Another person would say: “ you have no repentance.”
Xie Chuanbao: So we had to admit: “I fight against the Party and socialism, my offendence is unforgivable.”
Wang Zuomin: The first punishment rightists got was dismissal and supervised labor in the farm. How about their treatment?
With the same pay for agriculture workers, the lowest level, it was 21 yuan in Mile Area.
Zhao Fuyun: And we could not actually get the pay.
Wang Zuomin: The farm leaders themselves revised the rule of pay to so-called minus level 1 and 2, minus 1 was 18 yuan.
Xie Chuanbao: For us it was graded 14, 16, and 18 yuan.
Wang Zuomin: Only the few who were considered to behave well were able to get the lowest level 21 yuan.
Sun Zichuan: This made us vie for work points.
Zhao Fuyun: By work point, my workforce was low so I was inferior to others.
Xie Chuanbao: For those who behaved bad, were just given 14 yuan as life allowance.
Sun Zichuan: My pay was graded at 14.56 yuan.
Zhao Fuyun: That was a means, a cruel means.
Sun zichuan: Though my pay was graded at 14.56 yuan, I worked very hard.
Zhao Fuyun: Some people had no workforce, how many work points could they vie for? They were given 2 or 3 yuan for a meal.
Sun Zichuan: In the whole team I got number one in vying for work points.
Zhao Fuyun: One way to split and disintegrate was to destroy one by one---make you dogs bite one another with a full mouth hair.
Sun Zichuan: They used rightists to fight each other economically and struggle one another politically.
Zhong Luihong: (former cadre of production team) Most of them were professional, production supervisors, so they dared do nothing when lectured. Only a few had a bit spirit of revolt.
Xie Chuanbao: If one failed to accomplish his task, his meal level could be changed anytime, degraded to middle or small stomach.
Li Zeheng: When bitter thorns cut down, we treaded them into rice seeding bed with our feet. They were prickly. After the treading,
we fished for the thorns after they got rotten. In the winter paddy field, our feet had big cracks after treading the bitter thorns.
We used the big sewing needles and even needles to stitch soles (of cloth shoes) to connect our skin and flesh; for very big cracks we used flaxen thread, when linked, we went on laboring. Even with such atonement, we were not forgiven. (14/7)
Zhong Luihong: So long as they found you having a bit shortcomings, they would make you bad-lucked..
Wang Yuanqing: He (referring to Zhong Luihong ) gave the rightists a hard time without any mercy. Once, catching me eating
a few peanuts, he asked: “Wang Qingyuan, you ate the peanuts?” I showed him the food. Holding the few peanuts in his hand, he wrapped them in a newspaper and made it a big bundle. Then he took the bundle to the poor and lower-middle peasant meeting, saying that Wang Yuanqing stole peanuts. (??)
Zhao Hanke: There were usually three steps in the struggle meeting: standing out, kneeling and being beaten.
Zhong Luihong: Rightists were bound to be beaten and hung.
Zhao Hanke: What kind of people did the beating?
Wang Zuomin: The so-called activists of the rightists were incited to do the beating so as to behave themselves well.
Wang Jiayou: You were a label-removed rightist while I was rightist with label on, you were the leader with the right to beat me.
Yes, you had the right to tie, bind, hang and beat.
Wang Zuomin: Who came to blow such a wind? It was the then Secretary of the Party committee Ma Dinggui.
Liu Jiaqiang: At the criticism and struggle meeting everyone went up to do the beating for a good show. But such things
were not propagated for they were not typical.
Xie Chuanbao: The so-called activists were those ranked number A in the appraisal and accepted by others: worked hard,
obedient and introspected their crimes with deep feeling of grief.
Hu Tongzeng: In that place it retrogressed to slave society. That meant agricultural work force was bound to land, you could not leave.
Once you dared go, you would be caught back for hanging, just gave you a bit to eat for tomorrow’s labor. All fruits of our labor were for the public. With those conditions, wasn’t it a slave society, was it?
Question: Did they have a wife?
Wang Jiayou: Oh, some wives insisted on class struggle, and some of them divorced their husbands just because they were rightists.
Question: You were the first to get divorced?
Wang Qingyuan: I, I was the first. In April of 1958, the court posted me a notice of divorce without giving any reason. If she
(his wife) had not drawn a clear distinction, she would have been driven out in dire poverty. That was
unchangeable for she was communist. In such a case, I did not complain about her.
Li Zeheng: On Oct.1st of 1959, the day when the last emperor of Qing dynasty Aixinjueluo got decree of a pardon, my label
of rightist was removed.
Xie Chuanbao: At that time it was quite inspiring, but, with full confidence, of nearly thousand rightists only nine got their label
Li Zeheng: Of course, were those whose label was removed really behaved well? Not exactly. It was decided according to
the need of the above.
Xie Chuanbao: Though my name was not on the list of label-removed rightists, I returned calm immediately. I made bricks very hard
always got group leader Sha’s compliment. Sha was a cadre transferred to a lower level. He said to me: “ Good, work hard, Xie Chuanbao, it is my wish, a group leader’s wish, that you create conditions to get the label removed. I replied: “OK, I must live up to the leaders’ concern with me.”
Wang Zuomin: The only hope was to get our labels cast off.
Liu Jiaqiang: ( secretary of the Party committee, farm head, in 1990)With label removed, former rightists were permitted to teach, so, from grade one in my elementary school all my teachers were former rightists.
Wang Zuomin: At least we had to get trust from the then leaders.
Xie Chuanbao: Then, I worked very hard day and night---made bricks, shelled peanuts, spoke actively at the struggle meeting in the evening, i.e., made incisive self-criticism, pleaded guilty to the people, trying to find something to say, to find my weak points: such as that my offence was too serious, but as for what a specific guilt/offence I had, I could not say. However, I had to be further intensified for the sincere words as if I had really had unforgivable guilt.
Wu Deben: Later, through all our opening up waste land, we achieved over ten thousand mu ( over 666 hectares) of cultivated area.
( 15/7, Wed.)
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Katherine Fernandez-Rundle has a boyfriend or, as she corrected me once, a fiance. They had been "engaged" for four years when Rundle told me this, which was within the last two years.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
A Million Drops of Blood: "State Dongfeng Farm, film (2009) by Hu Jie, translation by Ye Weiyou. Synopsis.
The Great Chinese film maker and human rights activist Hu Jie has produced another film that bravely chronicles another horrific aspect of China's Maoist past, the past that today's blow-dried, business-suit attired leaders seek to suppress. Here, as with "Lin Zhao", the translation is by the also brave Ye Weiyou.
State Dongfeng Farm
Time for making 2009
拍摄地点：云南省 江苏省 上海市
Place of making: Yunnan, Jiangsu provinces, the city of Shanghai
Equipment of making: pickup camera
Length of the film: 104 minutes
[ The Gist of the Film/Documentary]
The “Anti-Rightists Struggle” in 1957“won a great victory” in Yunnan province.10,731 people were disclosed to be rightists in the whole province of Yunnan. Most of them were teachers, government functionaries, college students and officers. Those people originally responded to the Party’s call: help the Party with rectification by making criticism, comments and suggestions to the Party. How could have they known that it was Chairman Mao Zedong’s snare to run the country. As a result, all those who helped the Party were put on a strange cap with the name “rightist”. How to deal with the rightists situated between revolutionary masses and class enemies? Thus, to admit them, in the whole country, as if by prior agreement, bleak and desolate places were delimited, farms for criminals to be locked up were vacated.
In Mile county of Yunnan province a criminal-locked farm was vacated and it incorporated one thousand rightists escorted in succession. Besides, there came eight hundred supervisors who were situated between revolutionary masses and rightists but without the rightist label, they were considered middle-rightists by the above. Since then, the bleak and desolate place got a sonorous name: State Dongfeng Farm.
Through interviewing a group of rightists in Dongfeng Farm and those who managed the farm, in the film is presented rightists’ life, rigidly stratified, ideology-remolded on the tough political conditions of class struggle and in the hard natural environment. They experienced the proneness to boasting and exaggerating during the Cultural Revolution, the galloping nation-wide steel-making campaign, they also underwent the “natural disaster” as a result of purposely uprooting all grain for growing sweet potatoes. Again, they experienced the great famine from 1959-1962. After being remade in both physique and heart, they finally went through the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
In 1968, as the first May 7 cadre school in Yunnan province,
Dongfeng Farm admitted thousand of cadres who were considered to
have some problems in the Cultural Revolution. That group of people’s
status in the farm was “May 7 fighters”. There, the fighters underwent
reform through labor. During the campaign for educated urban youth to
‘go and work in the countryside and mountain areas’ (Mao’s call) that
farm, again, welcomed 1,500 school graduates/leavers from Shanghai,
Chongqing and Kunming.
At the end of 1978, after a twenty-one year’s though-remolding/brain
washing, those rightists’ wronged cases were finally corrected. At last,
they left the farm one after another. However, there were still nearly two
hundred people who forever deserted their skeleton in that piece of land.