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Asian Heritage Month — Chinese Classic Old Movies Exhibition

Movie Schedule and Descriptions:

Angels in the Road/ 马路天使 (1937)

  • 12 o’clock PM, May 16th at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, 8771 Lansdowne Rd, Richmond, BC

The film deals with two sisters, Xiao Hong (Zhou Xuan) and Xiao Yun (Zhao Huishen) who have fled from the war in Northeast China to Shanghai, where they are living under the brutal thumb of their adoptive parents. Xiao Yun has already been forced into prostitution while her sister serves as a tea-house singer. Soon the sisters realise that the adoptive parents have decided to sell Xiao Hong to a wealthy patron, whereupon they seek the aid of their neighbours, a street musician, Xiao Chen (Zhao Dan), and his misfit friends.

As one of the early sound films in China, Street Angel is often praised for its innovative use of music, as well as its unique mix of melodrama and comedy. One sequence in particular, where Xiao Chen and his friends attempt to act as barbers, reveals a moment of slapstick or physical comedy in the otherwise dreary third act. There are also several musical interludes, sung by Zhou Xuan (Xiao Hong).

Doctor Bethune/ 白求恩大夫 (1939)

  • 2 o’clock PM, May 16th at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, 8771 Lansdowne Rd, Richmond, BC

A tribute to Canadian doctor Norman Bethune, whose selfless work gave great assistance to the Chinese army during the Second World War. Made shortly after his death from blood poisoning contracted while trying to save the sick and injured in Mao Zedong’s army, this film looks at his many accomplishments in humanitarianism, particularly his driving desire to bring proper medical care to everyone who needed it, regardless of wealth or status.

The Spring River Flows East/ 一江春水向东流 (1947)

  • 12 o’clock PM, May 17th at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, 8771 Lansdowne Rd, Richmond, BC

1930’s China. The village of a poor family is taken over by the occupying Japanese army. One son, Zhongliang, leaves his wife and young son to join a medic group for the Chinese Army. The other son, Zhangmin goes into hiding to protect his family. The focus shifts back and forth from the brothers’ parents and Zhongliang’s wife and son to Zhongliang’s newfound life of luxury in a town not too far away. The plight of Zhongliang’s mother, his wife, Sufan and her son, Kongeson is contrasted with Zhongliang’s rise in a flourishing company.

Liu Sanjie/ 刘三姐 (1960)

  • 2 o’clock PM, May 17th at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, 8771 Lansdowne Rd, Richmond, BC

The story of Liu Sanjie became known throughout the country thanks to an eponymous movie, produced in colour in 1961. An instant hit, the movie also helped spread the story to the entire Southeast Asian.

Gua Sha Treatment/ 刮痧 (2001)

  • 12 o’clock PM, May 18th at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, 8771 Lansdowne Rd, Richmond, BC

Grandfather Xu (Zhu Xu) comes from China to visit the family of his son, Datong Xu (Tony Leung), in St. Louis. While there, he gives his grandson, Dennis Xu (Dennis Zhu), a treatment of Gua Sha to treat a slight fever (being unable to read English labels of medicine). The authorities, however, mistake the harmless traditional Chinese medical treatment for child abuse due to the obvious marks left on Dennis’ back. The family goes through hell when the child is taken away by the child protection agency. In court, the prosecution includes the father’s inclusion of a Chinese legendary character Sun Wukong in his design of a violent video game. The prosecution implies that since the father includes violence in his game, he values it. The father, furious, insists that the prosecution does not understand the cultural value of Sun Wukong and that the icon’s inclusion does not mean he abuses his son. He insists that what he does in his job does not relate to how he runs his home. Meanwhile, Grandfather Xu leaves America because he finds that the living environment is really not suitable for him, as he feels that a simple, harmless treatment like Gua Sha, which is so common in China, is treated as child abuse in America. Furthermore, he cannot converse in English. An American friend of the father, John Quilin (Joe Erker), tries Gua Sha and proves that the treatment leaves painful-looking marks that are not actually painful or harmful at all. Finally, the father is able to return home and the family is reunited. This movie’s story is meant to demonstrate the difference between western and Chinese culture.

After Separation/ 大撒把 (1992)

  • 2 o’clock PM, May 18th at Kwantlen Polytechnic University)=, 8771 Lansdowne Rd, Richmond, BC
  • 1 o’clock PM, May 19th at Vancouver International Film Centre, 1181 Seymour St, Vancouver, BC

Ever since the 1980’s, the trend of studying abroad never subside. However, the long term separation caused serious strain on relationships and this movie accurately depicts this common problem faced by the families of those Chinese went abroad. This movie describes a story between Gu Yan and Lin Zhouyun, which they become involved when their spouses are abroad.

Romance on Lushan Mountain/ 庐山恋 (1980)

  • 3 o’clock PM, May 19th at Vancouver International Film Centre, 1181 Seymour St, Vancouver, BC

After the fall of Gang of Four, Zhou, still keeping her feelings for Geng in her heart, visited Lu Mountain again. While Geng, now a postgraduate student of Tsinghua University, happens to come to Mount Lu for academic colloquium. Fortunately, these two reunite and decide to marry each other. Geng Hua asks his father, Geng Feng, for his agreement, and shows him the photo of Miss Zhou’s family. The senior Geng recognises that the girl’s father, Zhou Zhenwu, was his classmate back in Whampoa Military Academy. Because they followed different political parties, they became the rivals in the battlefield during Chinese Civil War. Thus, he immediately rejects this marriage. After some difficulties, the two seniors, both with the intention of reunification of China, meet on Mount Lu. The hostility is thawed, and they become relatives by marriage when the junior Zhou and Geng finally get together.


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