Dir: Li Pingqian
Orig Story: Wu Tieyi
Scr: Doe Ching
Prod Co.: Great Wall
Cast: Li Lihua, Han Fei, Yan Jun, Wang Yuenlung, Ping Fan
1950 / B&W / D Beta / Mandarin / Chi & Eng Subtitles / 114min
The first offering from Great Wall studio after the Chinese Communist Party came to power, Awful Truth is a biting satire on life in the capitalistic Shanghai under the rule of Kuomintang. With the currency issued by the government taking a nosedive, the panic-stricken people scramble to advance their own interests, by fair means or foul. The film boasts a stellar cast of the industry’s best, namely Li Lihua as an upper-class courtesan, Yan Jun as a fake government officer, Wang Yuenlung as an unscrupulous businessman, his underling Han Fei who’s eager to climb the corporate ladder, and finally Ping Fan as a money-grubbing toy boy. The drama unravels in a simple setting of just several rooms, where the characters wheel and deal to get the better of each other. A classic that transcends time with its razor-sharp delineation of human weaknesses.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
* Post-screening talk with May Ng
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