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SUBJECTS — World/China;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Surviving; Grieving; Gambling;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Fairness.
Age: 14+; Not Rated; Drama; 1994; 125 minutes; Color.
Banned in Communist China, To Live details the life of a Chinese family from the 1940s through the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. To Live is based on the novel Lifetimes, by Yu Hua.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide helps teachers use this film to supplement a course on modern Chinese history. The film is a primer on the changes in China from the 1940s to the 1960s seen from the standpoint of ordinary Chinese citizens. It also exposes the evils and risks of gambling addiction.
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To Live reveals important themes in recent Chinese history.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To give you a sense of how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to develop lesson plans, and by parents to supplement school curriculum or for homeschooling, we have set out below two paragraphs from the Learning Guide to To Live.
Mao Zedong (1893 - 1976) became the leader of the Chinese Communist Party in 1942 and ruler of China from 1949 until his death. Mao was the subject of enormous veneration by the Chinese people, becoming a godlike figure. Chinese citizens were required to read and reread Quotations of Chairman Mao (called Mao's Little Red Book). His writings were treated as infallible. His philosophy (called "Mao Zedong Thought") was raised to the level of a religion.
Mao maintained his power in the same manner as any communist dictator, through repressing opposition to the Communist party and purging his opponents within the party. The political movements in China from 1950 - 1976, including "The Suppression of the Counter Revolutionaries," "The Great Leap Forward," and the "Cultural Revolution" were all inspired and manipulated by Mao.
The Learning Guide to the film To Live contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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