Mao’s Last Dancer, which is based on a true story, is a 2009 movie that is interesting to students because of the romance, issues of loyalty to one’s family, political situations, and especially because it shows such a contrast between Chinese communism and American capitalism. Examples of the cult of personality surrounding Mao Zedong, totalitarianism in China, life during the Cultural Revolution, and defection during the Cold War abound in this movie. The movie can be used to illustrate totalitarianism in general or as a wrap up to a unit on modern China. The movie is available on DVD from a library, Amazon Prime, or for a small rental fee on Youtube.com.
With the purchase you get:
• A paragraph of background information
• Eighteen terms and definitions to deepen appreciation of the movie
• Seventeen guided reading questions
• Answer key for the guided reading questions