Tuesday, May 15, 2018


Ruan Lingyu in The Goddess

The plot of this stark, sad film involves a young mother (and prostitute) who tries to do whatever she can for her young child. She is met with opposition from all corners, including her possessive pimp and an education system that rejects the child because of his mother's reputation.

It is a good film and one that at least offers a glimmer of hope at the end, but is still a largely sad ride to go on.

I try to judge films without overthinking about the actual life of one of the film's participants, but that's a little hard to do in The Goddess and the star Ruan Lingyu, who plays the mother in the film. Lingyu was one of the most popular stars of China during this time, but her life was ultimately as tragic as the heroine in the film, as Ruan committed suicide in 1935 at the age of twenty-four.

Her story was recounted in the 1992 Stanley Kwan film Center Stage (another 1001 Films entry), which I will try to get to soon.

Ruan Lingyu

1 comment:

  1. I was surprised how good this movie actually is. Given the age and the state of affairs in China at that time this was unexpected.