Comparison - Chinese History and the Life of Fugui


(1911) Qing Dynasty Falls


Communist-Nationalist Alliance

1925 - 1927

Chinese Civil War

1927 - 1950

Long March


2nd Sino-Japanese War

1937 - 1945

Mao Period

1948 - 1976

Great Leap Forward

1958 - 1961

Cultural Revolution

1966 - 1976

Fugui and his Family

Fugui loses family home (general 1940s)


Jiazheng Leaves with Fengxia and her unborn son.
Father dies.

Fugui & friends captured by Nationalists


Treated badly, tied together with friends.

Fugui Serves the Communists

1942 - 1950

No specific time known. Date given simply to show time has passed.

Better conditions than Nationalists.

Fugui Returns home


Wife delivers canteens - job given by new Communist govt.
Fengxia cannot talk (women actually have same or less freedom than before).

Long'er arrested and killed


No specific date given.
Fugui realizes that it could have been him if he had still owned the house. Jiazhen assures him they are working class.

Communal kitchens


Yongqing dumps noodles on a boy's head. His father threatens the Fugui family - calls them counter-revolutionaries.

Great Leap Forward


Fugui and his family are smelting iron to increase China's production to surpass England & U.S. and "liberate Taiwan."
Scare when Yonqing notices the puppets, suggests smelting their box. Allowed to keep them for entertainment.

Yongqings death


Yongqing dies in an accident when a car knocks over a wall. The driver turns out to be Fugui's comrade from war, Chengsheng.

Burning the puppets & Fengxia's marriage


No specific date given.

Fugui has to get rid of his puppets as a part of getting rid of the old culture. Burn the, despite their sentimental value.

Fengxia marries Wan Erxi, a Red Leader Guard. They receive many presents depicting Mao, and wear CCP uniforms during the ceremony. Chengsheng visits, but Jiazhen refuses to talk with him.

Chengsheng accused a capitalist roader


No specific date given.

Jiazhen forgives him for killing her son, but they need to keep themselves separate to avoid being accused as well.

Fengxia's gives birth and dies


Inexperienced red guards have taken over many intellectual/professional positions, Mao declaring them counter-revolutionaries. Fengxia dies after they cannot stop her bleeding and the nearest doctor has passed out.

Grandson, Erxi, & Fugui have chickens


No specific date given.

Fugui states that everything will get better to his grandson. The movie ends with them playing with the chicks.