Saturday, November 12, 2011

Song of the Fishermen - 1934

Country: China
Language: Mandarin
Also known as: Yu guang qu
Director: Chusheng Cai
Writer: Chusheng Cai
Stars: Langen Han, Peng Luo and Kwah-Wu Shang
The first social-realist film in the history of Chinese cinema. Won the first international prize for a Chinese film at the 1935 Moscow Film Festival.
The story is about a fisherman's family living near to Shanghai. In the beginning, twin babies are born, a boy and a girl. Their growing-up is briefly sketched, and their friendship with "young master", a boy from rich family about their age. While the fishing business goes from bad to worse, he travels abroad to study ship-building, and later returns to have a rather large, modern trawler built. This of course reduces the chances of the traditional fishermen even more, so the boy and the girl go to Shanghai looking for a job. These scenes are really intensive - the queues forming outside the personnel office (men and women separate), the attempts to get a better place in the queue, the final disappointment when all vacancies are filled.

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