Sidney Rittenberg is a man apart: a trade union activist in the US, he was sent East during WW2 to work as a military attaché in China. But with the revolution brewing, Rittenberg jumped ship and joined Mao Tse Tung, becoming a 'foreign expert' for the communist government and abandoning his old life altogether. His story, as laid out in this direct, engaging documentary, is an extraordinary one, from two bouts of imprisonment for spying (the first on the orders of Joseph Stalin himself), through the living hell of the Cultural Revolution, to a quiet life back on home shores advising the US government on foreign policy. With little in the way of footage or photos the film is constructing largely of to-camera interviews with Rittenberg, but he's a charming host and his story is one of a kind.
Cast and crew