In this adaptation of Mao Dun’s famous story, a silkworm farmer and his family face a series of decisions about their livelihood: Should they sell mulberry leaves or raise silkworm cocoons? Raise Chinese or foreign cocoons? Sell cocoons or spin silk themselves? This economic parable about the effects of foreign competition on China’s vast and vulnerable rural population is also a lyrical masterpiece, which showcases the process of silkworm raising in methodical detail. Its prolific director, Cheng Bugao, earlier directed An Amorous History of the Silver Screen (1931).
Studio: Star (Mingxing)
Year of release: 1933
Director: Cheng Bugao
Screenplay: Xia Yan (credited as Cai Shusheng)
Original story: Mao Dun
Cast: Xiao Ying, Zhang Minyu, Dong Jianong, Yan Xuexian, Zheng Xiaoqiu, Gao Qianpin, Ai Xia, Wang Zhengxin, Yan Gongshang, Gu Meijun
Silent, with dubbed soundtrack
English subtitles translated by Christopher Rea
New Women 新女性 (1935)
A contemporary social drama about “the woman question.” What are women’s lives like in China today? And what should they be?