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Mao's Great Famine

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“Mao’s Great Famine” explores Chairman Mao’s attempts to bring China out of its state of underdevelopment in the late 1950’s. He launched a program of mass industrialisation, known as the “Great Leap Forward”. But the crazy dream became a nightmare, as the country sank into economic chaos, which caused an unprecedented famine with a terrible death toll of 45 million. The tragedy was masked by an official lie, because while China was starving to death, the grain stores were full. Based on previously unheard testimony by survivors, rare archive footage, secret documents and interviews with the leading historians on this catastrophe, this film provides, for the first time, an insight into the folly of his plan. It examines the mechanisms and political decisions that led to famine, stripping away the incredible secrecy surrounding the campaign, and exposing the lie which continues even today as to who was responsible, and the true human cost.