This film is part of Free

21 Days in China - a British teacher's impressions

"Education must be combined with productive labour", so says a Chinese slogan. Western cameras are special guests to capture 70s school days - eastern style!

Non-Fiction 1972 6 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


A film crew secured special access to Eastern China in 1972 to see for themselves the impact of the Cultural Revolution and highlight the changing world of Communist China. This visit, possibly by a teacher, gave westerners a rare insight into children's schools and education as they observed classes and daily lives for a new generation of young pupils in a Commune near Shanghai and a primary school in Nanjing including the effect of acupuncture carried out on deaf children.

This film was probably filmed as part of a broadcast documentary as it came to the archive from the ITV Anglia collection marked as 'Red China' filmed by 'a lady from Cambridge' - the narrator? That is all we know. Perhaps this access was granted as part of a wider agenda to ensure life in China was witnessed by a wider audience as 1972 also marked a very significant event in world history. U.S. President Richard Nixon's visit to the People's Republic of China was seen as an important step in normalising relations. During his week long visit, Nixon was summoned to meet with an ailing-Mao Tse-Tung (Zedong) - his visit was said to mark a significant break in the 22 years of Cold War tension between the two countries.