Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Goddess ("Shen nu" China 1934)


"We are but a moment's sunlight fading in the grass"
- The Youngbloods


A silent masterpiece from Wu Yonggang starring Ruan Lingyu.

A mother's anguish a revolutionary act.  The existential  heroine made flesh. A profound and mesmerising critique of greed and bourgeois hypocrisy, set against the tender counterpoint of the bond between mother and child.  The streets of Shanghai a glittering purgatory. The fallen woman walks the dark streets of oppression and shame. Trapped and struggling, loving and kind, a whore and an angel, she soars with wings of  joy for a brief instant above the sordid infamy of vanity, exploitation, and deprivation.