Breaking with Old Ideas

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Breaking with Old Ideas
Traditional 決裂
Simplified 决裂
Mandarin Juéliè
Directed by Li Wenhua
Written by
  • Chunchao
  • Zhou Jie
Music by
  • Lü Yuan
  • Tang He
  • Zheng Yuyuan
  • Luo De'an
Beijing Film Studio
Release date
Running time
127 minutes
Country China
Language Mandarin

Breaking with Old Ideas is a 1975 Chinese film directed by Li Wenhua. The film is one of the few that were produced during the Cultural Revolution.[1] As a result of the political climate, Breaking with Old Ideas's plot was heavily regulated under highly codified guidelines on story and characterization.[1]


In 1958, the Communist Party of China sends Long Guozheng (Guo Zhenqing), a graduate of the Counter-Japanese Military and Political University, to head the newly established Jiangxi Communist Labour University (today's Jiangxi Agricultural University). The school's more conservative elements, aiming for high academic standards, refuse to admit poorly-educated peasants, but Long advocates the opposite: after all a Communist Labour University should only admit students from the working class! Long also begins innovative changes—to the dismay of many other staff—such as putting more emphasis on hard labor than classroom learning, switching courses to accommodate experiential learning, removing impractical sections from the curriculum, holding lessons in the field, and excusing students who miss exams to work for the commune. Later, a student Li Jinfeng (Wang Suya), whom Long considers an exemplary follower of the "educational revolution", faces expulsion and is put on trial. In the end, she is saved by a pronouncement from Chairman Mao himself.[2]


  • Guo Zhenqing as Long Guozheng
  • Wang Suya as Li Jinfeng
  • Wen Xiying as Deputy Secretary Tang
  • Xu Zhan as Xu Niuzai
  • Zhang Zheng as Old Representative
  • Li Shijiang as Jiang Danian
  • Hou Guanqun as Yu Gang
  • Xiang Hong as Cao Xiaomei
  • Wu Jing as Xiao Ping


  1. ^ a b Zhang, Yingjin & Xiao, Zhiwei. "Breaking with Old Ideas" in Encyclopedia of Chinese Film. Taylor & Francis (1998), p. 101. ISBN 0-415-15168-6.
  2. ^ Marion, Donald J. (1997). The Chinese Filmography: The 2444 Feature Films Produced by Studios in the People's Republic of China from 1949 through 1995. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 82. ISBN 0-7864-0305-5. 

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