The only 8 dramas that entertained Chinese people during 10 year Culture Revolution (1966-1976)

If you know a bit of Chinese history, you might already hear about or know the 10 year span of 文化大革命 Wén huà Dà gé mìng Culture Revolution (1966-1976) in China’s contemporary history. During those ten years, lots of precious culture heritages were damaged or destroyed. People’s everyday life was also turned black and white, from what people dressed to what people thought. The only entertainment allowed in theaters during that period were the only 8 样板戏 yàng bǎn xì model dramas that were either created or promoted under strict guidelines from 四人帮 sì rén bāng Gang of Four.


It’s safe to say that for Chinese that were born during or before 60’s, there's no one that do not know the names of the 8 model dramas. For that reason, I believe an introduction of the 8 model dramas might also benefit Chinese learners in this community in terms of culture and history. I'd like to give you a very brief introduction here with both their Chinese and English names and a one sentence storyline. For detailed introduction, photos and real history facts, you can click it's name to go to my series of “A piece of Chinese history: 8 model dramas in Chinese Culture Revolution (1966–1976)”:


1. 红灯记 Hóng dēng jì  The Red Lantern

How did a railway family sacrifice themselves to sent out important military information to the headquarter of the Party.


2. 白毛女 bái máo nǚ  The White-Haired Girl

The miserable fate of a beautiful peasant's daughter, who eventually turned into a white-haired ghost hiding in the cave.


3. 沙家浜 Shā jiā bāng  Shania Creek

The underground battle between the undercover members of the Party, the KMT, and the invading Japanese in Shelia Creek area.


4. 红色娘子军 hóng sè niáng zi jūn  The Red Detachment of Women

Women from the bottom of the society joined Red Army and grew into formal military force to help liberate people on Hainan Island.


5. 奇袭白虎团 qí xí Bái hǔ tuán  The Raid on the White Tiger Regiment

A successful scouts attack from China to South Korean army in Korean War. (Based on a real military exploit in 1953)


6. 智取威虎山 zhì qǔ wēi hǔ shān  Take Tiger Mountain by Strategy

How undercover communist soldiers entered headquarter of local bandits and destroyed them. (Based on real military activities.)


7. 龙江颂 Lóng jiāng sòng  The Hymn of Long River

To rescue a big area of drought, a women leader of the Party had to organize the people and dig out "the enemy of the people".

8. 海港 hǎi gǎng  The Harbor

In order to complete a loading task for international aid at the harbor, "good people" had to fight with "the hidden enemy of the people".


Feel free to leave your feedback, thanks...


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