From the Masses to the Masses:

An Artist in Mao's China


What happens to the individual artist when culture becomes a tool of government? From the Masses to the Masses is the story of Jin Zhilin, a Chinese artist whose career was altered dramatically by the currents that shaped Communist China.


Jin responded to Mao Zedong's call for artists to learn from the masses and create for the masses. But after Mao launched the Cultural Revolution in 1966 to purge China's intellectuals and those he deemed insufficiently "red," Jin found himself on the wrong side of the new artistic mandate and was imprisoned. Sent to Yan'an upon his release, Jin was finally able to pursue his lifelong passion: to learn from the masses, in this case the traditional artists of Yan'an. With his students, Song Ruxin, Feng Shanyun, and Chen Shanqiao, he spent the next seven years capturing his life and history of the revolutionary capital using oil, watercolor and woodblock prints.


From the Masses to the Masses features original art, restored and preserved, and interviews with the artists to document the hardships and dreams of artists during this important watershed period in modern Chinese history.


In English and Chinese with English subtitles.

Available for all regions.

Running Time: 56.46

Technical Specifications: Letterbox



Combat Films & Research is a production company that has shot and produced international stories. We have expanded to  also shoot everything between commercial, corporate and educational.



Contact Us


  • 825 North 300 West,           Suite W311                                        Salt Lake City  UT 84103
  • O. 801-521-7737