“Fei Mu’s film is widely regarded as the finest achievement of Chinese filmmaking before the communist victory in 1949…Set in the aftermath of the long and devastating Sino-Japanese War, the film focuses on a marriage already troubled by apathy, ennui, illness and frustration, and which comes under further threat when a doctor friend of the husband — and, unbeknown to the latter, a former lover of the wife — arrives on an unexpected visit.
The frank treatment of adulterous desire, central to several scenes of quite surprisingly sensuality, is not the only aspect of the film that feels unusually modern. Its cool understatement in terms of narrative and performance, its psychologically illuminating use of interiors and exteriors, and its imaginative use of occasional voiceover to explore — but teasingly never pin down or delimit — the wife’s conflicting emotions: all these are combined to create a sophisticated work of sharp and subtle insights that are as relevant today as when the film was made.” (British Film Institute)
Media Source: British Film Institute
Rights: China Film Archive
Running time: 98min
Director: Fei Mu
Films and schedules may be subject to change.
Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein. Generous support is provided by Nion McEvoy and the Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund.