Albert Capellani

  • Albert Capellani – The Red Lantern (1919)

    1911-1920Albert CapellaniClassicsSilentUSA

    [The Red Lantern] tells the story of a Eurasian, Joan of Arc-like heroine, Mahlee, who forsakes her own people to live among white Europeans, until political tumult draws her back across the color line to foment anti-imperialist uprising in China’s 1900 Boxer Rebellion. While Mahlee literally “hears voices” (à la Joan of Arc) that compel her to revolutionary action, star actress Alla Nazimova doubles in this role as Mahlee and as her estranged white [half]-sister, Blanche Sackville. Blanche’s sister from another mother (i.e., their white British father’s Chinese mistress), Mahlee struggles with her simultaneous attraction and repulsion towards her kinfolk colonizers — and more pointedly with the politics of British colonialism in fin-de-siècle China.Read More »

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