Chinese leader Mao Zedong unleashed the Cultural Revolution 50 years ago in May 1966. Millions of young people responded to his call to destroy the “Four Olds” — old ideas, old culture, old traditions and old ideology. A decade of revolutionary chaos followed. At least 1.5 million people died.
Fifty years later memories of the turmoil fade, both in China and abroad. The Chinese government stands by its 1981 official account. The Cultural Revolution was Mao’s mistake.
Reporter Zach Williams meets with Chinese people young and old in New York City to learn how they interpret this history. The question remains: does the Cultural Revolution still matter 50 years later?