A Page of History

A Page of History

Pho/Edi/Prod: Lai Man-wai
Pho: Lo Wing-cheung, Leung Lam-kwong, Pang Nin
Prod Co: China Sun
1941 | B&W | D Beta | Mandarin | 33min (incomplete)

The Battle of Shanghai

Prod Supervisor: Lai Buk-hoi
Pho: Lai Man-wai, Xu Changlin, Chu Shu-hong, etc.
Prod Co: China Sun (Shanghai)
1937 | B&W | D Beta | Mandarin | 26min

These films were discovered locally in 2002.

Lai Man-wai, considered the pioneer of Hong Kong cinema, documented the battle scenes involving Dr Sun Yat-sen. He spent seven years travelling all over China, often braving the dangers of frontflines, to film the battles. Copies of the films he shot were lost during the war but some were preserved by his family. After they were donated to the Archive, much of the precious work was able to be rescued for preservation, giving audiences the chance to relive history through these precious images.

Informed by the conviction that film was a means to advocate patriotism, Lai established China Sun Motion Picture Company in the early 1920s. He teamed up with friends to follow Dr Sun, traversing provinces for several years and filming precious historical moments such as Sun's inspection of the country and the Northern Expedition led by Chiang Kai-shek after the death of Sun. Some of those footage was edited into A Page of History, available to the public today, albeit deteriorated and incomplete. The Battle of Shanghai records the famous conflict at the beginning of the war in 1937 when, fervently resisting the invading Japanese army, 800 soldiers defended a warehouse until the very last moment. Shot by Lai and his team at the risk of death, the film is now an invaluable visual document in Chinese modern history.

Date Time Venue
18/9/2021 (Sat) 12:00pm Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive

The contents of the programme do not represent the views of the presenter. The presenter reserves the right to change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.