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The Goddess (1934)

Shen nu (original title)
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)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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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

A great example of the work of Ruan Ling-yu and director Wu Yonggang
31 January 2004 | by meyerharSee all my reviews

One of the most important productions of the golden age of Chinese films because of its symbolism was director Wu Yonggang's first endeavor,"The Goddess" (Shennu). The title of the film was the Shanghai way of describing a woman who sells her body. Ruan plays a prostitute who uses her earnings to support and educate her son. The heroine is forced to enter the oldest of professions, as it is the only way for her and her child to survive and to provide for his education. More than any other film, "The Goddess" captures the misery and hopelessness of China at the time. Ruan is the symbol of China's suffering. Only as a prostitute could she support her child and give him an education. "The Goddess" was a breakthrough for the director Wu in his sympathetic depiction of a prostitute. He used montage to portray Shanghai at night. He also shows that she was moral, but evil forces were the cause of her plight. A new DVD with English inter-titles and a beautiful piano score by Kevin Purrone is available from The San Francisco Silent Film Festival (www.silentfilm.org). My new book "Ruan Ling-yu: The Goddess of Shanghai" published by Hong Kong University Press tells the tragic story of Ruan Ling-yu.


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