The British Film Institute has (or is about to) released these two Chinese classics on DVD…..fantastic…
Ruan Lingyu, one of the most famous stars of early Chinese cinema, gives a devastating performance as an unnamed ‘goddess’ – an ironic euphemism for a prostitute – in this profoundly moving but rarely seen classic of world cinema. A tragic tale of shame and maternal sacrifice, Ruan stars as a mother desperate to provide for her young son and forced to take brutal vengeance on her pimp. It is a profoundly moving drama, all the more poignant by the fact that its star committed suicide at the age of 24, a year after the film’s release.
Newly restored by the Chinese Film Archive, this iconic film boasts a new score by renowned composer Zou Ye. Premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in 2014, this long-awaited release makes one of the most important early Chinese films finally available on DVD in the UK, and will delight all fans of silent cinema.
Directed by Cai Chusheng and Zheng Junli, and originally released in two parts in 1947, The Spring River Flows East is generally considered one of the great Chinese films of the period. More on the movie here