By Lin Fan, Czech Republic
On seeing the film title, I was first attracted by the word “red.” Speaking of “red,” we naturally associate it with the red rule of the Communist Party. Then, in the movie Red Re-education at Home, needless to say, the scenarists will undoubtedly tell us that how the communist family under the CCP system educates their children. I was very curious and expecting: Apart from the above-mentioned meaning, what other messages will the movie communicate to us? What enlightenment and guidance will it bring to us?
I thought the movie just tells a story of a family that is influenced by the atheistic education of the CCP. However, only after the film did I find: Through a series of things that happen to the family, the director, ingeniously uses the representative family as a sample to disclose the darkness and hardship of all the Chinese people’s life under the CCP regime, an autocratic totalitarian regime, and to show the firm perseverance and resolve of the Christians’ maintaining their belief, as well as the soul awakening of those who are blinded by lies. Red Re-education at Home obviously discloses the education of a country, but not merely of a family.
The Supporter of the Red Education
Zheng Weiguo, the protagonist’s father, is head of the municipal United Front Work Department, an officer under the organization of the CCP who specially hunts believers in God. Having worked under the system of the CCP for half of his life, he has been educated to be a typical communist by the red education, and both of the autarchy and might of the CCP can be seen in him. In the family education, he exercises the red education on his son and daughter and forcefully indoctrinates them with the theory of the CCP. He repeatedly emphasizes that the family education of the CCP is: Party members’ children must believe in Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, and are definitely not permitted to . If they believe in God, it means that they betray the CCP. Party members’ children must listen to the CCP, follow and belong to the CCP forever! This is the typical theory of the CCP, the atheistic regime. To stabilize its authoritarian regime in China, the CCP has been using textbooks to teach people in this way for decades ever since it came to power. Though most people are not born into the family of the CCP officials, they have been poisoned by the red education since their childhood, so that the red thoughts have been firmly rooted in the hearts of all Chinese people. In the movie, to protect his position, livelihoods, Zheng Weiguo racks his brain to obstruct his son and daughter from believing in God, with all kinds of means such as ordering, intimidating, threatening, tempting, distorting the facts and confusing right and wrong. In the dialogue with his wife, his wife keeps emphasizing that she doesn’t object to their son and daughter believing in God, and that their son and daughter are walking the right path of life and learning to be good. Yet, Zheng Weiguo would rather let their two children smoke, drink, bet, and follow the trend of society to become depraved than let them believe in God and walk the correct way of life. These plots are thought-provoking. The reason why China is so depraved and dark now is because of the red education of the CCP.
Yet, when he forces his children and wife out the door, with his hands over his head, Zheng Weiguo says, “It’s over! The family is over! What party is it? What government is it?! What the red education, red rule?! Go to hell!” These words are particularly worthy of deep thought, and even more prove that the red education will end in failure.
The protagonist Zheng Yi and his sister Zheng Rui represent the type of people who live under the rule of the atheistic political regime of the CCP and insist on — . They live in the family of the communist, but they accepted early. It is just because of God’s leadership and guidance that they aren’t poisoned by the red education. In the movie, there is a contrast of two scenes, which is very ironic. At the family celebration, when Zheng Yi says that the cause of the darkness and confusion of Chinese society is that the atheist CCP takes power, even though Zheng Weiguo, as an official of the CCP, feels somewhat awkward, he still feels gratified and honored when seeing that his son can speak such thoughtful and insightful things, and says that sending his son abroad is right. However, when the film mounts to the climax, and for the first time Zheng Yi speaks the bonds and oppression brought to him by the red family education, his father roars to him, “Belief freedom? Red education at home? Where do you learn it from? It’s the infiltration of western culture!” From his father’s words, we can totally see that the most typical expression of the peoplethe product of the CCP’s indoctrination and red education is considering oneself to be the most honorable. Once your opinions are contrary to or conflict with theirs, they will regard your opinions as the infiltration of western culture. Since the CCP came to power, its policy on Christianity is resisting and banning and it never ceases. And one of the fallacies it spreads is that Christianity is the infiltration of western culture. Zheng Yi and Zheng Rui finally break away from the bonds of the red education, during which, they are obstructed and persecuted by their father time after time. In the end, to maintain the official position, his father kicks them out of the house ruthlessly. Though the whole plot is a little heartrending, after having an understanding of the poison and bondage of the red education to us, we are aware that it is an inevitable result of the development of things.
At the end of the film, Zheng Yi walks alone along the seaside, the bird flying freely in the blue sky, and the long-awaited smile appearing on his face. This plot implies that though he is driven out, without the bondage and constraint of the red education, he gains the true freedom of his soul, doesn’t suffer the depression and pain from the red rule any longer, and can freely believe in and worship God in the world created by God.
Mu Xinping is the protagonist’s mother. She, bound deeply by the red education, has not the slightest discernment about the lies and fallacies of the CCP. Therefore, when her husband wins her over, with lies and rumors again and again, to obstruct their two children from believing in God, she is unaware of the facts and follows him. The mother plays a very important role in the film–peacemaker. Because the outlook on life and on value of her husband and that of her son are absolutely contrary, when the contradiction between them continually intensifies, to a great extent, she plays the role of reconciling. Many friends who have seen the movie said the mother is easily swayed, because she agrees with not only her husband’s viewpoint but also her son’s. In fact, come to think of it, it is not difficult for us to find that the mother is not the person who bends with the wind. Every time when her husband and her son discuss, she always listens to them carefully. She gradually awakens from their discussion, and admits that her son’s pursuit is right and that her children are walking the right path of life. So, she privately says to her husband with worry, “As far as I am concerned, believing in God can’t be wrong. Maybe our children will become somebody in the future. Belief in God is much better than belief in the CCP. The CCP is nearing its fated end. Maybe someday it will collapse, so what do you do? It does be a big issue.” When her husband forces their son and daughter out the door heartlessly, she says resentfully, “Our family comes to this. Isn’t this attributed to the CCP? What party? Demon party, evil party! Are you still clinging to the CCP? You are really a devil! You also want to drive me out. Well, well! I am thinking of not living with you! I have enough of your red rule early! I’ll believe in God with my children! You go to live with your evil party!” Probably only at this point can she pour out and release her innermost dissatisfaction with the red family education of her husband. Her final choice may, to some extent, awakens the soul of all the people deeply deceived by the CCP.
Red Re-education at Home is different from other religious movies, and is a rare film that reflects the whole country’s present situation based on a family story. Now the CCP is wantonly persecuting religious people, behind which the hidden sinister motives and facts are worthy of more people’s investigating. After all, being deceived by lies all year around is not what anyone wants, and understanding the truth is the right of everyone.
Though the movie lasts two hours and a half, the lines, lighting, costumes, the arrangement of props, the drawing of characters, and the connection of the background music are all dealt with perfectly. There is nothing unnecessary, and the interlocked plots make you not want to miss any shot. In the movie, times of debates between Zheng Yi and his father are much more wonderful, from which we harvest abundantly. The movie will answer many questions, such as what on earth is the truth of the “May 28 Shandong Zhaoyuan Case” that shocked the world, why does the CCP government persecute and arrest believers in God so wildly, what on earth are the sinister motives of the CCP, what is Christianity, what is a good religion, what is a cult, do believers in God really not want families or work, why does the CCP force believers in God to join the Three-Self Church, is the Three-Self Church the true one. I’ll speak again about the key point: Red Re-education at Home is not merely a common docudrama that records a story of a family, but concerns every one of us, and the three types of people in the movie may be you, me, him, or everyone else around us. No matter which type of people we are, we all need to reflect on whether we are influenced or bound by the red education now. We have the freedom to choose, but the precondition is that we should have our own definite direction.
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