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A star shines her light on Chinese film

By Xing Wen | China Daily | Updated: 2022-09-13 08:12
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In the documentary, actress Lisa Lu travels from Los Angeles, to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and then Guangdong province, to reminisce about the early development of Chinese film.[Photo provided to China Daily]

"People living there were relatively more open-minded (than people from inland areas). In the past, few Chinese women were willing to enter the public eye of the film industry, but some actresses of Guangdong origin were an exception," adds Shi.

Zhang Tongdao, director of the documentary and also a professor with Beijing Normal University, says that he got to work with Lu for more than a month, during which, Lu's personal charisma inspired him to embrace his better self.

"I hope that Lu's dedication to her work and passion for life can also touch the heartstrings of our audience," says Zhang. "Also that the stories of those legendary figures can strengthen Chinese people's sense of patriotism and stimulate the development of the country's film industry."

The documentary has gathered precious historical records, including movie clips, letters, diaries and items from the personal collections of the filmmakers, actors and actresses of Guangdong origin. It also involves in-depth interviews with kung fu master Dan Inosanto, a student of Bruce Lee, and some other surviving collaborators and family members of the five film legends.

The production unit spent a great deal of time and effort in getting permission to use clips of old movies from their respective copyright holders and searching for historical materials.

"We've used materials from 31 old movies, among which 10 have never been brought to the big screen for a domestic audience," says Zhang, the director.

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