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RICKSHAW BOY

People's Republic of China, (MIFF 1984)

Director: Ling Zifeng

The film is a convincing study of social conditions in Beijing during the turbulence of the early 1930s Xinagzi, a young camel-herd from the west, comes to Beijing to seek his fortune pulling a rickshaw, only to find himself trapped in a hopeless economic situation.

His employer's daughter, Hu Niu, takes a fancy to him and tricks him into marriage by pretending to be pregnant. Her father sells his business and disinherits her. Later she does become pregnant and the marriage seems to improve: there is no happiness for Xtangzi. His dream of independence falls apart and his relationship with a young woman who has been sold into prostitution by her father ends tragically.

While toning down the virulent pessimism of Lao She's celebrated novel, Ling presents a vivid picture of the times with exceptionally strong performances. Ling Zifeng was born in Beijing in 1917 and studied painting at the Beijing Arts Academy and stage design at Nanjing National Theatre Academy. He became an actor appearing in several films, and in 1946 played the leading role in "Worker Heroes of the Liberated Areas".

In 1947, he joined the North-West Student Workers Film Workshop to learn production techniques. He entered Beijing Film Studio two years later and made his first feature "Daughters of China" with co-director Zhai Jiang. His films include: "A Glorious Family"(1950), "The Spring Wind reaches Yumming River” (1954), “Red Flag Cronicle” (1954), “Red Flag Chronicle” (1960), “Li Siguang” (1979).

National Theatre Academy. He became an actor appearing in several films, and in 1946 played the leading role in "Worker Heroes of the Liberated Areas". In 1947, he joined the North-West Student Workers Film Workshop to learn production techniques. He entered Beijing Film Studio two years later and made his first feature "Daughters of China" with co-director Zhai Jiang. His films include: "A Glorious Family"(1950), "The Spring

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