10 November 2018 | gbill-74877
Watch what survives for film history
It's a little tough to review an incomplete film, one in which only two of seven or eight reels survive, and which has none of its intertitles. The story of a curse on a Chinese family for being too westernized is hard to follow as a result, though what we do see does allow us to fill in some of the blanks. In one very nice shot, pioneering director (and producer, writer, costume designer, and actress) Marion E. Wong gradually fades the bracelets a young bride has received into manacles, which is how she begins to see her new life. It's sad that after the film was rejected for distribution and thus flopped, the 21 year old never made another. Watch the fragments of what survives for film history; this was the first Chinese-American feature film and has an all-Chinese cast. It's refreshing to see these images in light of the portrayals of Asians that were coming out of Hollywood at the time, and which would persist for decades.