How Mao regarded his controversial wife is difficult to say. She once indicated to an American scholar, Roxane Witke, that she and Mao were not always close personally. In 1957, when Mao made his second trip to Moscow she happened to be there in the hospital but he neither stopped in to see her nor phoned, she related. Later, at the start of the Cultural Revolution, Mao wrote her a letter that is often cited by her detractors in the party.
For virtually the entire final 45-minute episode, in a typical Sokurovian conceit, the video camera spends most of its time trained at the writer's face as he thinks and speaks, and almost always in profile -- not unlike Stalin! In his restrained, contemplative modernism, Sokurov re-invents his country's aesthetic of monumentalism as the camera stamps the viewer with the image of a great man. Cult of personality, indeed.
Free essay on stalin five year plans Essays and Papers
A series of events in the mid- and late-1950's turned this history of uneasy relations into bitter wrangling and eventually open armed clashes. First among these was Nikita S. Khrushchev's speech in 1956 denouncing Stalin for his brutality and personality cult. Mao, who by then envisioned himself as the world's major Marxist-Leninist thinker and revolutionary, was caught by surprise. He resented not being consulted, and he was put in an awkward position by revelations by Mr. Khrushchev, then the party leader.