The legendary Sidney Rittenberg will introduce the new film about him – “The Revolutionary” – at a special FCCC screening.
Sidney Rittenberg arrived in China at the end of World War ll as a GI Chinese language expert. He remained in China to work for the United Nations Relief Organization, eventually traveling to Yan’an and becoming the first American to join the Chinese Communist Party. As an intimate of the party’s leadership, including Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, he gained prominence at the Broadcast Administration (the first English editor to work at Radio Beijing) and became an active participant in the Chinese revolution, an insider to the turmoil of those times. And, in the convulsions of the 20th century’s biggest revolution, he twice was arrested and served a total of 16 years in prison. Rittenberg, now 92, returned to the United States in 1980.
Over a five-year period, award-winning former CBS News journalist (and FCC member) Irv Drasnin interviewed Rittenberg to produce a compelling, complex and unique picture of the Maoist era. From Rittenberg’s first encounter with Mao in the yaodongs of Yan’an to his prominence as a powerful voice during the Cultural Revolution, to his battles with insanity while in solitary confinement, Rittenberg’s remarkable story helps to illuminate a much greater history of the 20th century’s biggest revolution.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A.
DATE: Nov 12 (Monday)
VENUE: Embassy of the Republic of Poland, 1 Ritan Road, Jian Guo Men Wai (corner of Guanghua Road and Ritan Road) 建国门外日坛路1号
ENTRANCE: free to FCCC members, 80 RMB on the door to non-members
REGISTRATION: at email@example.com
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS:
Irv Drasnin has spent more than 40 years in broadcast journalism (CBS News and PBS). He has made thirty-one documentaries on a variety of subjects including five that comprise a chronicle of modern Chinese history beginning with “Misunderstanding China”, broadcast by CBS News on the eve of President Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972. Among his many awards are those of the Director’s Guild, the Writer’s Guild, and the duPont-Columbia for best documentary films. He is the co-producer, writer, narrator and interviewer of The Revolutionary.
His co-producers are Lucy Ostrander, whose own documentaries include “Witness to Revolution: The Story of Anna Louise Strong”, and her husband Don Sellers, a cinematographer and editor of documentaries for more than 25 years at PBS and ABC.