The Communist Party propaganda film with an all-American sponsor.
As we all know the majority shareholder in GM (Government Motors) is the American taxpayer so we went from fighting Communism all around the world to now sponsoring Communist propaganda films?Moviegoers in China will probably find few surprises in the Communist Party's latest propaganda biopic, "The Great Achievement of Founding the Party." But readers outside of China may be surprised to learn the identity of the film's sponsor: Cadillac.
Maybe we should have seen this brand alignment coming. Cadillac has been selling smartly in China since launching there in 2004, providing a rare bit of good news for General Motors. The Communist Party's new film, glittering with the brightest stars of the Chinese screen, represents great visibility. Perhaps there will even be an opportunity for product placement, such as the Red Army parading "capitalist roaders" in a classic Coupe de Ville.
Cadillacs have long inspired awe in China. In 1985, a state-owned investment company imported a fleet of 20 stretch limousines, the company's first delivery to China since before the revolution. At a ceremony in Beijing, hundreds of Mao-suited bystanders stared in wonder at the 22-foot-long land yachts, pimped out with color TVs and ice buckets. The purchase price represented 115 years of an average worker's wage, according to one contemporaneous American newspaper account.
Today, a vibrant middle class has made China the largest car market in the world. But elite civil servants still lust after Detroit iron and German coachwork. Tour any major boulevard in Beijing or Shanghai and you'll see that the party's periodic edicts against conspicuous consumption have not stanched the taste for Benzes and Caddys.
Like any company doing business in China these days, Cadillac can hardly afford not to play along. It's probably money well spent to have the film's cast roll up Hollywood-style to the premiere in shiny new Escalades. It seems Cold War ideological enemies have traded places, or—given GM's recent history—perhaps met somewhere in the middle.
So my question for you is does this latest development make us all Communists?