Academic journal article Journalism History

Mao, the Real Man

Academic journal article Journalism History

Mao, the Real Man

Article excerpt

Mao, the Real Man. Szilveszter Siklosi, producer. New York: First Run Films, 1995. 0:54.

There are historical facts and there are explanations for these facts. Mao, the Real Man is an experiment in explanations that clearly demonstrates the historical limitations of contemporary media techniques. The experiment succeeds in showing that hy using authentic material, such as archival film, and fictitious material, such as staged interviews, "even the greatest nonsense can be made believable." These materials are combined to produce explanation for some of the greatest mysteries of this century: the Korean War, the defeat of Chiang kai-Shek, the split between China and the Soviet Union, and the Kennedy assassination.

The video follows the documentarian's chronological format with Jonathan W. Highstone, professor of Art History at the University of Michigan, serving as guide and narrator. Traced is the life of Mao tse-Tung, both publicly and privately. While Mao's public life is well known, his private life in this video is the creation of avantgarde producer Szilveszter Siklosi.

Siklosi combines his media expertise and historical evidence to conclude that: 1) Mao started the Korean War to retaliate against a United States government which had attacked his Mafia colleagues in Chicago; 2) Mafia money, weapons, and advisors were deciding factors in Mao's defeat of Chiang; 3) China and the Soviet Union split because of a love triangle involving Mao, a lady from Chicago, and Nikita Khrushchev; and 4) the Kennedy assassination was ordered hy a mafia godfather because Kennedy had failed to overthrow Castro. …

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