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Crows and Sparrows

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Crows and Sparrows (1949)

- 1 January 1949
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At a Shanghai apartment, Mr Hou, a Nationalist official, gets ready to move to Taiwan upon the imminent defeat of the KMT during the Civil War. Mrs Hou gives an ultimatum to the rest of the tenants to move out on behalf of her husband, who is the "owner" of the flat and who is now planning to sell it. From the conversations with the rest, we find out that Hou has been a Hanjian during the Sino-Japanese War and that he has since taken over the apartment by force from the old landlord, Mr Kong. The tenants, including Mr Kong, Mrs Xiao, Little Broadcast (alias Mr Xiao, played by Zhao Dan) and a schoolteacher, Mr Hua, and his wife, initially plan to band together, but circumstances force them to find other ways out. Mr Hua tries to find a place to stay at the KMT-sponsored school he is teaching in. Little Broadcast and Mrs Xiao invest in black market gold. As the situation escalates, Mr Hua gets arrested by KMT agents and his young daughter falls desperately ill.

Director:  Junli Zheng
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At a Shanghai apartment, Mr Hou, a Nationalist official, gets ready to move to Taiwan upon the imminent defeat of the KMT during the Civil War. Mrs Hou gives an ultimatum to the rest of the tenants to move out on behalf of her husband, who is the "owner" of the flat and who is now planning to sell it. From the conversations with the rest, we find out that Hou has been a Hanjian during the Sino-Japanese War and that he has since taken over the apartment by force from the old landlord, Mr Kong. The tenants, including Mr Kong, Mrs Xiao, Little Broadcast (alias Mr Xiao, played by Zhao Dan) and a schoolteacher, Mr Hua, and his wife, initially plan to band together, but circumstances force them to find other ways out. Mr Hua tries to find a place to stay at the KMT-sponsored school he is teaching in. Little Broadcast and Mrs Xiao invest in black market gold. As the situation escalates, Mr Hua gets arrested by KMT agents and his young daughter falls desperately ill.


Collections: Junli Zheng

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Release Date:  1 January 1949

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At a Shanghai apartment, Mr Hou, a Nationalist official, gets ready to move to Taiwan upon the imminent defeat of the KMT during the Civil War.

Crows and Sparrows (乌鸦与麻雀; Wūyā yŭ Máquè) is a 1949 Chinese film made by Kunlun Studios on the eve of the Communist victory and directed by Zheng Junli. Notable for its extremely critical view of corrupt Nationalist bureaucrats, the film was made as Chiang Kai-shek’s Nanjing-based government was on the verge of collapse, and was not actually released until after the Chinese Civil War had ended.

The film takes place in Shanghai, and it revolves around a group of tenants struggling to prevent themselves from being thrown out onto the street due to a corrupt party official’s attempts to sell their apartment building.

The film was the winner of the 1957 Huabiao Film Awards for the “Outstanding Film” category, and stared Zhao Dan, Sun Daolin, Wu Yin and Shangguan Yunzhu in leading roles. [wikipedia]