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Spring in a Small Town (DVD) BFI


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Regarded as the finest work from the first great era of Chinese filmmaking, Fei Mu’s piercingly poignant study of adulterous desire and guilt-ridden despair, newly restored by the China Film Archive, is a remarkable rediscovery.

After eight years of marriage to Liyan – once rich but now sickly and almost suicidally apathetic following a long, ruinous war – Yuwen does little except deliver his daily medication. A surprise visit from Liyan’s friend Zhang re-energises the household, the invalid included. Liyan’s young sister is not alone in her excitement over the much-travelled guest; Yuwen knew him before her marriage…

In 2005 Spring in a Small Town was declared No.1 in the Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures. A re-make as Springtime in a Small Town by Tian Zhuangzhuang was released in 2002, but this is the first time that the original has been available on DVD in the UK.

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Special Features

BFI re-release trailer
• A Small Town in China (1933, 9 mins): an intimate portrait of community life in an unidentified Chinese town
• This is China (1946, 9 mins): a fascinating compilation of scenes showing diversity and disparity in 1940s China
• Fully illustrated booklet with complete credits