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Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art | National Silent Movie Day: “The Goddess”

September 29, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

A group of film archivists with a passion for silent movies has established September 29 as National Silent Movie Day—an annual day to celebrate silent film history and raise awareness about the race to preserve surviving silent films. For the inaugural celebration, theaters across the country will be screening silent films with musical accompaniment. Our contribution is a virtual screening of a classic performance by famed Chinese silent movie star Ruan Lingyu, with music by master accompanist Donald Sosin.
Featuring an exclusive score by pianist Donald Sosin!
Chinese film expert Christopher Rea calls The Goddess “the most celebrated Chinese film of the silent era.” Starring the legendary Ruan Lingyu—the most famous silent film actress in China—in one of her most iconic performances as a Shanghai prostitute who will sacrifice everything for her young son. Featuring visually stunning images of nighttime Shanghai, the film will be presented with a new score created exclusively for this event by noted silent film accompanist Donald Sosin, whose work has appeared on countless silent movie DVDs. (Dir.: Wu Yonggang, China, 1934, 85 min., black & white, silent with English intertitles)
Image: The Goddess (film still), in the public domain