The Life of Wuxun

(Wu Xun zhuan)
(The Story of Wu Xun), (The Life of Wu Xun)

Digital Restoration


Zhao Dan, Huang Zongying, Zhou Boxun, Wu Yin,

Notorious as the first film banned by Mao and the PRC, The Life of Wuxun tells the real-life story of a Qing dynasty–era peasant who devoted his life to free education for all. Poor, barefoot Wuxun just wants to attend school, but a lack of money soon ends his dream. An adult life of hard labor, harsher treatment, and constant struggle awakens him to the power of education to lift up the poor. One of China’s most powerful epics, the film was nevertheless targeted by Mao for embracing, not destroying, feudal myths, and remained unscreened until 2005.

Jason Sanders
  • Sun Yu
  • Han Zhongliang
  • Mandarin
  • with English electronic titling
Print Info
  • B&W
  • DCP
  • 209 mins
  • China Film Archive