An unnamed devoted mother sells herself by night on the streets of Shanghai in order to support herself and her infant son. When a gambler who calls himself “the Boss” strong-arms his way into becoming her pimp, she flees with her son and attempts to earn an honest living, but the Boss tracks her down and forces her back into prostitution. When her son reaches school age, she begins hiding away enough money to pay his tuition. Although her son is ostracized by other kids due to her profession, she takes great joy in providing an education and a potential better future for him. When the other parents want the boy expelled, a kindly principal fights to keep him in school. Meanwhile, the Boss finds her hidden cash, adding financial woes to the problems of social injustice. —IMDb
A famous director of the 1930s, Wu Yonggang (b. 1 November 1907, Jiangsu province d. 18 December 1982) began working with film at the age of nineteen. His father did not think highly of the medium and encouraged him to study fine arts at the Commercial Press. However, Wu found employment at Lily (Baihe) Film Company and was soon discovered by Shi Dongshan, who promoted him to stage designer. Wu’s directing debut, Goddess (1934), a Lianhua Film Company production, was well received by both critics and audiences. He next directed Little Angel (1935), which was based on a prize-winning screenplay. Although his name is often associated with leftist films, Wu was a socially conscious artist in broader terms. In The Desert Island (1936), for example, Wu searched for a common humanism that could unite people, and he lamented the divisions brought about by class consciousness. Yet when it came to foreign encroachments against China, Wu was a staunch nationalist. In the patriotic The Pioneers… read more
Wu Yonggang's "The Goddess" (1934) is a masterpiece of classic Chinese cinema featuring a brilliant career performance from the incomparable Ruan Lingyu. As beautiful as she was exceptionally talented, the system ultimately chewed her up and spit her out, resulting in her suicide about a year after the release of The Goddess, a film which, in some ways, mirrors the tragic turmoil of her own life.
The fate of leading lady Ruan Lingyu overshadows this quite exceptional and beautiful silent melodrama from China. She magnificently portrays a young woman working as a prostitute and trying to support herself and her young son. Unable to escape the clutches of a loathsome gambler, she is eventually forced into an act of impulsive violence... Just a year later Ruan was dead by her own hand at the tender age of 24....
Nunca dejara de sorprender el hecho de que, a pesar de ser tanto la china como la méxicana culturas en apariencia tan lejanas una de la otra, el cine de ambas naciones guarda tantos puntos en comun. Es el caso de esta cinta, centrada en una joven mujer quien se prostituye de noche para cuidar amorosamente de su hijo de dia, cuyo proposito es de hacer de él un hombre respetable, mientras tiene que lidiar con escoria humana, entre esta un hampon que quiere ser su padrote. Las similitudes con Salon México de Emilio Fernandez son evidentes, pero sobre todo, hay que destacar su estupenda fotografia y el hecho de poder apreciar un (buen) ejemplo tan antiguo de esta excepcional cinematografia.
The recent issue of UCLA’s Asia Pacific Arts Magazine has a timely new feature on: 'Social Change in Asian film'. As the authors themselves