Crows and Sparrows

(Wuya yu maque)
(House and Tea Money)

Digital Restoration

Crows and Sparrows also screens with a discussion with film critic Paul Fonoroff and Zheng Dali (son of director Zheng Junli) on Sunday, October 6.

  • Introduction

    Weihong Bao is an associate professor of East Asian languages and cultures and film studies at UC Berkeley.


Zhao Dan, Wu Yin, Wei Heling, Sun Daolin,

A Shanghai apartment building serves as a microcosm of China’s class struggles in Zheng Junli’s striking urban drama, filmed during the last days of China’s Nationalist rule and already looking forward to, as one character states, “a New Society.” A scheming Nationalist official and his greedy wife purchase an apartment building and proceed to lord it over the hardworking families still renting there. Meanwhile, a real war for China’s future rumbles across the nation, mirroring the metaphorical one within the building’s walls. While filming, Zheng provided Nationalist censors with a false script in order to conceal his true intentions; after the government fell, he reshot to reinforce his message.

Jason Sanders
  • Chen Baichen
  • Shen Fu
  • Wang Lingu
  • Xu Tao
  • Zhao Dan
  • Zheng Junli
  • Miao Zhenhua
  • Hu Zhenhua
  • Mandarin
  • with English electronic titling
Print Info
  • B&W
  • DCP
  • 113 mins
  • China Film Archive