A String of Pearls (Yichuan Zhenzhu)

One of the earliest surviving Chinese features, and based on Guy de Maupassant's short story The Necklace.

A social climbing, middle-class housewife cajoles her husband into borrowing an expensive necklace to wear at a party. Her ostentatious display succeeds in making a big impression but, on the night of the party, the necklace is stolen and her husband ends up embezzling funds to pay for the loss, triggering a downward spiral in their fortunes. Boasting some surprisingly lovely cinematic touches, and moody lighting, the film also offers a fascinating look at rich, Westernized life in 1920s Shanghai.

Dir. Li Zeyauan | China | 1926 | N/C U | 1h 46m + short accompanied by John Sweeney
With: Xiadian Lei, Xiandian Lei, Hangou Liu, Hanjun Liu, Jiqun Liu, Shaomei Xing, Qiqi Zhai

Performing live: John Sweeney (piano)

With an introduction by Julian Ward
BSL-English supported event


Screening materials courtesy of the China Film Archive
Short courtesy of the Library of Congress

Supported by The Confucius Institute for Scotland in the University of Edinburgh

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