Junli Zheng

Chusheng Cai & Junli Zheng – Yi jiang chun shui xiang dong liu AKA The Spring River Flows East (1947)

Synopsis:
An idealistic schoolteacher leaves his wife and family behind in 1930s Shanghai to join the Red Cross in the fight against the Japanese invasion. After he is captured, he escapes to Chongqing, where he marries a high-society hostess and establishes a new bourgeois life for himself. Meanwhile, his family lives a life of poverty in a squatter’s camp in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. Director Zheng and veteran filmmaker Cai (who focused mainly on the screenplay for fear of reprimand from the ruling Kuomintang Government) successfully intercut between the parallel narratives, which reflect the contradictory social conditions of prerevolutionary China and bring an epic scale to the life of the Chinese everyman. Considered the country’s equivalent of Gone with the Wind, this sweeping melodrama gave rise to a “romantic family epic” craze in 1940s China. Read More »