7.8/10
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17 user 15 critic

Shen nu (1934)

TV-PG | | Drama | 1934 (China)
Street walker by night, devoted mother by day, a woman fights to get her young son an education amid criminal and social injustice in China.

Director:

Yonggang Wu

Writer:

Yonggang Wu (script director) (as Wu Yonggang)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Lingyu Ruan Lingyu Ruan ... The 'Goddess' (as Ruan Ling-Yu)
Tian Jian Tian Jian
Zhizhi Zhang Zhizhi Zhang ... The 'Boss' (as Zhang Zhizhi)
Keng Li Keng Li ... Son (as Li Keng)
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Storyline

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 TimeNTide

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

China

Language:

Chinese

Release Date:

1934 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

La diosa See more »

Filming Locations:

Shanghai, China

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lianhua Film Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2008 TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Alternate Versions

In 2008, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) broadcast a 73-minute version of this film with music composed and performed by Donald Sosin. See more »

Connections

Featured in Projections (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Sensitive and exquisite performance By Ruan Lingyu
20 October 2004 | by YeohSee all my reviews

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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