Shi DongshanZheng Junli, Chen Yanyan, Yuan Congmei, Liu Jiqun
1932 / Silent with Music / 84 minutes / DCP / B&W
Hangzhou-born Shi Dongshan (1902-1956) was one of the preeminent directors in China before 1949, producing a series of movies dealing with China at war and peace. In this melodramatic family saga, Swallow (played by sixteen-year-old Chen Yanyan), trapped under the harsh control of her adoptive father, finds love with her neighbor, the young soldier, Xiao Zheng – all under the watchful eye of the teacher, his wife, and other neighbors around the courtyard. Anger, betrayal and war against the Japanese may intervene, but virtuous love is celebrated through Shi’s exquisite direction. The glory of this rarely seen classic is now brought back to screen with this new restoration.
4/4/2018 (Wed): Post-screening talk (in Cantonese) with film critic Lau Yam