Weihong Bao is an associate professor of East Asian languages and culture and film studies at UC Berkeley.
Chen Yanyan, Xie Tian, Shi Hong, Zhu Sha,
Many classics of Chinese cinema’s “Second Golden Age” retell narratives from Chinese history or then-contemporary political struggles; 1948’s Suspicion stands out, though, as an example of a populist work that looked to foreign films, specifically Hollywood, for inspiration. Borrowing the title of Hitchcock’s thriller, Xu Changlin fashioned a similarly claustrophobic tale of a husband and wife slowly consumed by paranoia. Just returned from the war, a veteran soon grows doubtful as to his wife’s loyalty; the wife, however, has a bitterness of her own. Combining traditional melodrama with the psychological thriller, noir aesthetics, and a poetic voice-over narration, Suspicion offers up multiple surprises.