The "Seventeen Years" (1949-1966), a period of abundant film production under the communist regime in China, has been called the "missing years" in the historiography of Chinese cinema. Rather than defining films produced during that era simply as "propaganda" in negative terms, this study locates the attractions of Chinese revolutionary cinema as a form of education and entertainment. First, picking up the forgotten threads of socialist internationalism in postcolonial studies, this project highlights the Soviet presence in Chinese film history and the creation of anti-colonial solidarity with Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America in Chinese film discourse. Second, this study seeks to fill an important gap in the global circulation of film theory by looking at how Chinese translators and film critics re-read, redefined, and reinvented Soviet montage and Constantin Stanislavski's realist acting system through the work of translation. Third, this project turns to various permutations of realism as an aesthetic and an ideology in Chinese revolutionary cinema by establishing a dialogue with socialist realism as an overall communist aesthetic. Contrary to the logic of Cold War binarism, I argue that the creation of a Chinese revolutionary film aesthetics was predicated upon not so much the open refusal to speak the enemy's language--classical Hollywood narration and Soviet montage--but the translation and tacit appropriation of both for the purpose of creating a revolutionary aesthetics that negotiates foreign cinematic precedents with Chinese aesthetic traditions in literature, opera, drama, and painting.