Chinese Government Sending Filmmakers to Countryside for ‘Ideological Training’

Chinese Government Sending Filmmakers to Countryside for ‘Ideological Training’

Communist leaders in China are looking to send members of their film industry on organized field trips to the countryside to “study and experience life.”

The new move was proposed by the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television (SAPPRFT) and is more evidence that China’s Communist party is cracking down on cultural affairs within the country.

TV producers, script writers, agents, and casting directors are among those who will go on mandatory trips, each lasting, on average, 30 days, to learn how to properly express their creative mindsets. 

“This will be a boost in helping artists form a correct view of art and create more masterpieces. The program will be long-term,” SAPPRFT wrote in a statement on its website, via the Hollywood Reporter

The proposals bear a striking resemblance to the cultural revolution in the 1960s and 1970s, in which Communist chairman Mao Zedong would send artists to work alongside peasants in rural areas.

Mao, China’s modern founding father, said the countryside is a “vast expanse of heaven and earth where we can flourish.”

According to the Hollywood Reporter, 100 broadcasters, directors from state broadcaster CCTV, and news anchors will be selected by SAPPRFT each year from different shows to work in ethnic minority and border areas.

They will also be sent to other areas that contributed to the country’s victory in the revolutionary war.

President Xi Jinping, who has played a major role in the censorship of China’s film industry, said at a forum in October that the purpose of art is to serve socialism and the people. 

Those who attempt to challenge the Communist party are quickly censored. A Touch of Sin by Jia Zhangke was banned, Ning Hao’s No Man’s Land was released with heavy editing, and artist Ai Weiwei is currently under house arrest in Beijing. 

Another statement by Mao:

“There is, in fact, no such thing as art for art’s sake, art that stands above classes, art that is detached from, or independent of, politics.”