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The Film Society at China Institute presents

January 16, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Myriads of Lights (万家灯火) and Crows and Sparrows (乌鸦与麻雀): Classics from the Second Generation of Chinese Cinema

Myriads of Lights 万家灯火 (1948)
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
6:30-8:00 PM
Members: FREE(Become a Member Now!); Non-Members: $5

Crows and Sparrows 乌鸦与麻雀 (1949)
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
6:30-8:00 PM
Members: FREE(Become a Member Now!); Non-Members: $5

Location: 40 Rector Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10006

We are proud to launch The Film Society at China Institute, a series of programs for Sinophiles and Cinephiles to join us in exploring the diverse and dynamic world of Chinese film! We open with a series of two films, Myriads of Lights (万家灯火) and Crows and Sparrows (乌鸦与麻雀).

In the late 1940s, on the eve of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, two brave directors cut through the chaos of China’s civil war to make sense of Chinese society using the developing medium of film. Seven decades later, China Institute is opening its archives to present a pair of classic works from this “second generation” of Chinese filmmakers, who are credited with transforming Chinese cinema from the era of silent films, into a new golden age of sound.

1.Myriads of Lights 万家灯火 (1948)

Set during the turbulent years of China’s second Civil War, the family saga Myriads of Lights recounts the heart-wrenching story of Hu Zhiqing and his family struggling to live through those difficult times in Shanghai. At the outset, the father Hu Zhiqing lives a modest but decent life in the city with his wife Lan Youlan and daughter Ni Ni. However, the status quo becomes hard to maintain as domestic inflation starts to spiral out of control. The situation becomes even more difficult for Zhiqing after his mother and brother come to join him from the countryside. Finally, after Zhiqing is fired by his avaricious boss Qian Jianru, who is making profits from the war, the whole family is thrown into despair and becomes embroiled in emotional and financial turmoil.

This film is black and white, and is in Chinese with English subtitles.

2. Crows and Sparrows 乌鸦与麻雀 (1949)

At the twilight of the second Civil War, a corrupt Nationalist (KMT) official, Hou Yibo, forcibly takes over an apartment building from its original owner, Kong Youwen. As the defeat of the KMT is about to take place, Hou attempts to sell off the property to profit one last time before he escapes to Taiwan. His tenants, including Mr. Kong, Mrs. Xiao, Little Broadcast and Mr. Hua and his wife, have to find ways to avoid being thrown onto the street. Acclaimed as a classic realism film made at the end of the turbulent 40s, Crows and Sparrows presents an ever-growing zeal in the general public for a new era and new society.

This film is black and white, and is in Chinese with English subtitles.


January 16, 2019
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Downtown Office
40 Rector Street
New York, NY 10006 United States

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