“The Revolutionary”

Reviewed by Tiffany Ran

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Sidney Rittenberg was an American civil rights activist who lived in China during the Mao era and held a role in Chinese politics that was unheard of for any foreigner. He was imprisoned twice for a total of 16 years during the Cultural Revolution. Now 90 years old, Rittenberg shares his perspective and insight in the documentary, “The Revolutionary.” In the film, interviews with Rittenberg, which took place over a period of five years, are woven together with photographs and Chinese art propaganda posters to portray untold historical events. Both engaging and revelatory, the documentary is a valuable testimony of those turbulent times, but more so of the life of Rittenberg, whose unique perspective of China remains unmatched. Partly due to Rittenberg’s humorous candor, “The Revolutionary” sets itself apart from other dry historical documentaries. More than just history, the film is an honest and intimate look at a visionary’s exploration of his complex life, his unfailing need to make a difference, and the price he paid for his involvement with the Chinese Communist party. The documentary will shed light on the great turbulence of that era and on a country that, to this day, still remains a mystery. (end)

“The Revolutionary” showtimes
May 27 at 5:30 p.m. at Harvard Exit
May 31 at 4:30 p.m. at Pacific Place

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  1. […] documentary, The Revolutionary, was the subject of an NW Asian Weekly article in May […]


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