MAO'S LAST DANCER
Discovering Freedom in America
Release Date: August 20, 2010
Audience: Older children and adults
Runtime: 118 minutes
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director: Bruce Beresford
Executive Producer: Troy Lum
Producer: Jane Scott
Writer: Jan Sardi
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Meyer Gottlieb, President
Samuel Goldwyn Films
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The story opens as Li Cunxin, a Chinese ballet dancer, comes to Houston as part of the first international arts exchange with the renowned Houston Ballet, As he enters the United States in 1981, there’s a flashback to a remote peasant village in China where Li is growing up in a hardscrabble existence. The Communist officials come to town to find suitable children to recruit into the Communist ballet. Li is chosen and taken away from his family to the ballet school in Beijing.
One of his ballet instructors, Teacher Chan, helps Li become a great ballet dancer. Regrettably, Chan has a heart for classical ballet, so during the Cultural Revolution, Chan is arrested for being a counter-revolutionary.
When Ben Stevenson, the famous artistic director of the Houston Ballet, comes to China with the key members of his ballet company, he picks Li to come to the United States. Li has been brainwashed that Communist have produced the ideal society in China and that America is a dark, impoverished land. When he comes to the United States, he slowly recognizes that the U.S. offers both freedom and prosperity. He discovers that he doesn’t have to be afraid of insulting the president. He doesn’t have to be afraid of being watched. He doesn’t have to be afraid of being controlled. So, before his time is up, he falls in love with America and another dancer and gets married.
The Chinese Consul slyly entraps him, though, but his American lawyer leaks to the press that the Consul has kidnapped Li to take him back to China. The incident becomes a battle between freedom and communism.
MAO’S LAST DANCER is an extremely beautiful movie. For those who love art, it is extremely artistic. The ballet sequences are terrific. Better yet, it is a powerful, well-told story with great turning points.
Even better, it exposes the evils of Communism, international socialism and the good of republican democracy and capitalism. It shows the foolishness of the fellow travelers and useful idiots who oppose anti-communist principles and favor socialist and semi-socialist social engineering, and in all this, it historically rebukes with this true story what is happening in the United States today. This is a great story!
That said, some of the ballet dancing features upper male nudity and very skimpy costumes. Some of it has some suggestive dance moves, and Li gets passionate with the American women he marries, Liz, who stops him to tell him she’s a virgin. There’s also a smattering of very minor, light foul language and one joke about passing gas.
Otherwise, however, this is a must-see movie that’s incredibly dramatic and powerful. Highly recommended!
MAO’S LAST DANCER is extremely beautiful. For those who love art, it is extremely artistic. The ballet sequences are terrific. Better yet, it is a powerful, dramatic, inspiring story with great turning points. Best of all, it exposes the evils of communism and extols American values of freedom. This is a great movie for moviegoers!