Struggle (Restored Version)

Struggle (Restored Version)

Dir: Qiu Qixiang
Scr: Yu Szu
Prod Co: Unique Film (Shanghai)
Cast: Chan Yoke-mui, Liu Binghua, Xiao Zhengzhong, Zhang zhenduo
1933 | B&W | DCP | Mandarin | 76min

This film was acquired overseas in 2012.

Thanks to the cinema owner, businessman and investor Mr Gordon Fung for his personal introduction, in 2012 the Archive received a generous donation from Mr Jack Lee Fong, founder of San Francisco's Palace Theatre. The treasure trove contained Chinese-language nitrate films from the 1930s and 40s, including Struggle and The Light of Women (1937). The unearthing of this batch of rare films made an important piece of puzzle in the history o Chinese-language films back into place.

This is the sole surviving motion picture of Unique Film (Shanghai), one of China's three major film companies in the 1930s. The young lovers in rural China are framed by their evil landlord. The man is sent to prison; the woman is forced to get married. She tries to seek revenge but is killed. When the man is released from prison, he joins the People's Volunteer Army but is killed in battle. The film was significant in its time. Runje Shaw had imported advanced American audio film equipment and technology in 1931, making this one of the first sound films in China. As one of Unique's few ‘progress' films, it also reflects that this ‘entertainment-only', apolitical film company, under the left-wing influences in society, also needed to make films with topics such as the war effort and that criticise the bourgeoisie. Struggle is a joint effort among the best of talents in front of and behind the camera, and is also the only surviving work of director Qiu Qixiang.

Date Time Venue
6/11/2021 (Sat) # 12:00pm Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive

# Post-screening talk with Sam Ho, Carmen Tsoi

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