This article tells the tragic tale of how the creators of one of the most renowned national anthems "March of the Volunteers” became victims of the complex politics of the Cultural Revolution. Both composers Nie and Tian joined the Communist national party in the early 1930s inspired by nationalist sentiment. The ‘March’ became a huge success becoming one of the most popular songs in China both with Nationalists and Communists especially after war with Japan began in 1937. Nie died just two months after the film premiered drowning in the ocean. The ‘March’ was officially confirmed as the national anthem in 1949 and Tian played up on the political nature of his work, saving him from the “Anti-Rightist Campaign” which devastated Chinese intellectuals. In 1966 Tian was singled out on the front page of Peoples Daily magazine as a ‘Poisonous Weed’ and he was forced to sign that he was a traitor. After being arrested and handed over to the Red Guards he was tortured eventually dying two years later. However the song out lasted the politics in 1978 the ‘March’ was bought back in.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 February 2014
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