An unnamed devoted mother sells herself by night on the streets of Shanghai in order to support herself and her infant son. When a gambler who calls himself "the Boss" strong-arms his way into becoming her pimp, she flees with her son and attempts to earn an honest living, but the Boss tracks her down and forces her back into prostitution. When her son reaches school age, she begins hiding away enough money to pay his tuition. Although her son is ostracized by other kids due to her profession, she takes great joy in providing an education and a potential better future for him. When the other parents want the boy expelled, a kindly principal fights to keep him in school. Meanwhile, the Boss finds her hidden cash, adding financial woes to the problems of social injustice. Written by
Sensitive and exquisite performance By Ruan Lingyu
As an ancient Chinese poet has mentioned before, "it is even mesmerizing to be silent rather than with sound"... this is what i would like to quote here to describe the feeling when i was watching " Shennv".
A quite simple plot, but truly a heartbreak story...Even though it is not a talkie, no background music( the VCD version i watched), no color, but her splendid acting already captured my heart, the way she express the sorrow and the ambivalent being a wonderful mother and a depressed prostitute is simply captivating...I am wandering how a young actress (she should be 24 at that time), without any formal education of performing art, will able to achieve such a superb and impressive acting skills...no doubt she has become one of the screen legend in cinema history...
it is no doubt a genuine classics in Chinese silent cinema, worth watching...
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