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Gung Ho - Rewi Alley of China

Film (Full Length) – 1980


Expat Kiwi Rewi Alley became one of the best known foreigners in 20th Century China, and an advocate for the Communist Revolution. When China was under siege from Japan in the 1930s, Alley instigated an industrial co-op movement he termed 'gung ho' (work together). Its success led to the phrase entering the global idiom. Alley founded Bailie schools to train youth in the skills needed for industrial co-ops. Director Geoff Steven and a small crew travelled 15,000 kilometres in China in 1979, filming Alley as he gave his account of an engrossing life story. Co-writer Geoff Chapple later wrote a book on Alley.

Rewi Alley, 82, a legend known to millions within China. He arrived 20 years before the revolution, and 30 years after he lives in China still, a witness to the transformation of the Chinese spirit. And he's won a place within it.
– Narrator Peter Vere-Jones introduces Rewi Alley, early in this documentary

Produced by


A co-production between Phase Three Films and the National Film Unit, screened on TV One

Made with assistance from Air New Zealand and the Broadcasting Corporation of New Zealand