ABSTRACT

The chapter presents means and methods applied in puppet animation filmmaking that complied with the ideological principles established by the radical supporters of Mao Zedong (especially Jiang Qing) in the first half of the 1960s. Rooster Crows at Midnight (1964) was directed by You Lei, a skillful animator whose films overtly affirmed extreme policies of Maoism. The analysis unravels multilayered construction of the historical reality embed in the film as well as in the related preceding and following culture texts – the film is an adaptation of the early 1950s’ memoires written by the soldier Gao Yubao, and it constitutes a source material of a still photography short story published during the Cultural Revolution. A communicative strategy of creating image-ideas convey ideological meanings determined by the increasing radicalization of the Maoist revolution agenda. Departing from Gao Yubao’s anti-feudal narrative, the film ideologically submits to the anti-individualistic concept of the ‘spirit of a screw’ which reduces an individual to functioning as an element of the unified social machinery. Further on, an equation appears between the mythicized pre-1949 reality and contemporary reality of the ‘continuous revolution’, i.e., the concept that paved a way for the Cultural Revolution.