STUDIO: Indie-Pictures
MSRP: $24.99
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes


The Pitch

Communism through a Po-Mo Crudely Assembled Filter.

The Humans

Mao Zedong, Lee Feigon and a cast of a billion Asians

The Nutshell

Chairman Mao Zedong was a complicated figure. This infotainment documentary attempts to use modern riffing to introduce the general American viewer to Mao Zedong. Mao Zedong is one of the most complicated men in the last 100 years of International Politics. The documentary makes no attempt to say that they’re painting a complete portrait. The Passion of the Mao wants you to see why Mao’s work was for the betterment of the Chinese people.

Straight of Hunan, comes a motherfucker named Mao.

The Lowdown

Only Nixon could go to China. But, what was so special about the man that invited him? Filmmaker Lee Feigon takes a rather off-the-cuff look at Chairman Mao Zedong and his rise to power. Starting out as a poor rural peasant during the 1920s, Mao found his way at the expense of others. Publishing his political philosophy in the Little Red Book, Mao set the blueprints for a generation of autocrats to follow. But, was he a bad man?

The Rape of Nanking didn’t really have much in full-frontal.

The film plays with a gaggle of talking heads that make note of how Mao’s efforts led to the hyper-capitalist beast that threatens to consume the Eastern hemisphere. But, no one really takes down the man’s tactics. They just comment in that egg-breaking omelet matter that only seems to get reserved for caucasian heads of state. That’s not to say that we don’t get to see the awful side of Mao. Hell, there’s some Z-grade animation that shows the Chairman getting his bowels stimulated by an assistant’s fingers.

The Three Stooges lost some of their luster when they went all political.

Mao Zedong is shown as a man that constantly faced defeat with his head held high. Always believing in future glory, Mao and his closest advisors used every resource available to procure China’s fabulous future. Well, I’m not sure how fabulous you could consider acidic rivers and general scum in the air. But, I don’t want to get sidetracked on a breakdown of the Beijing Olympics. Don’t you love the topical humor in these reviews?

The film works as a discussion starter. But, I wouldn’t base any hardcore political insight upon the information presented. Sure, director Lee Feigon doesn’t take any great liberties with the material, but he doesn’t do it any favors. I just wish that Feigon would’ve expounded upon the ideas he strung together. Hell, we keep going back to the Lost Decade of the Cultural Revolution, but Feigon doesn’t how to spin it. That’s the worst part of the film and what made reviewing the piece that much harder. Shit or get off the pot, pal.

He’ll take a wonton, some Crab Rangoon and the complete assimilation of Tibet. Make it to go, Peyton’s playing in about an hour.

The Package

The Passion of the Mao comes to DVD with a featureless offering. Judging by the DVD Production House, they didn’t have a dime to spare outside of encoding the disc. Still, it offers up all you need with admirable A/V Quality. I wish that there was more to say about the offering, but there was barely a blip to be seen. I’m not sure which is worst. Understatement or overabundance?

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6.8 out of 10