China Strikes Back

Similar to “Heart of Spain, China Strikes Back came to Frontier Films in the form of raw footage, in this case shot by young photographer, Harry Dunham.  Originally seen as something of a distraction from their original projects, the writers and editors of Frontier Films found that the footage contained extraordinary, never-seen images of Mao Tse-Tung in his base in Yenan, and of the Chinese Communist Eighth Route Army. They went to work shaping a film from a huge quantity of relatively random images.  Along with its powerful historical photography, China Strikes Back exemplifies the well-crafted, dialectical structure that was one of Frontier Films’ great contributions to the development of the documentary. It was shown as a short in hundreds of theatres in the New York Area.

Leo Hurwitz




37 minutes



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Supervised by Leo Hurwitz and Paul Strand

Written and Edited by Sidney Meyers, Irving Lerner, Ben Maddow and Jay Leyda (credited under pseudonyms)

Music by Alex North.