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
I am a modern film viewer. In part, this means that I have the curse of looking at the package as well as its contents. It matters to me how the thing is made, and how that making is reflected in the narrative proper.
All of us are now. That's why if you want a film with essentially none of what I call folding and still be a fine film you have to go to an old one.
This has that quality in fine degree. And it has something else to captivate. It was made in China before the communists took over. It was a time of great poverty and everyone in China would have been aware of this. It is in fact why the communists were tolerated at first, under they secured absolute power. Its this social fabric that the film mines, even exploits. Its all gone now, would be shortly after the film was made.
But if you can transport yourself into the simple story, you can transport yourself into a whole unique nation of a few thousand years that blinked out.
The acting is quite film, by western and even modern standards.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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