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STORM

China, 1960 (MIFF 1961, Programme 21)

Director: Chin Shan

The play an which Storm is based was written, directed, and played by Ching Shan, as is the film. It Is one of the most powerful and original of modern Chinese films and is concerned with the real events of the Peking-Hankow railway Strike of 1922-23, a key chapter in the history of China's revolution.

In the summer of 1922, when China was under the influence of foreign powers and the war-lords, ths father of the Director of the Police Bureau of the Peking-Hankow Railway was killed by a train. The Director falsely accused a railway worker of having caused his father's death. Under the leadership of railway worker Lin Hsiang-chien, and lawyer Shih Yang, the workers were mobilised and carried out the famous February 7th strike. During the struggle both leaders were arrested and shot by the warlords.

The director has increased the reality of his story and its people by telling his tale with more passion and suspense than could be gained with naturalism alone. He has used his long experience in both theatre and film to give bold theatrical accents - often from Chinese classic theatre to an essentially filmic style. It is chiefly In his own performance as the radical lawyer that we can see his method (as in those unreal but powerful pauses just before a gesture or movement), but the whole film has an unusually unified artistic style.

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