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Book Cover
Streaming video

Title Broken blossoms
Published [San Francisco, California, USA] : Kanopy Streaming, 2014
Online access available from:
Kanopy    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource (1 video file, approximately 88 min., 54 sec.) : digital, .flv file, sound
Summary D. W. Griffith reached a pinnacle of expressiveness in this tender yet tragic tale of love and suffering in the seedy Limehouse district of London. Richard Barthelmess gives a sensitive portrayal of a Chinese man who travels to England to spread the pacifist teachings of the Orient, but it is Lillian Gish who illuminates the screen. In this, the most heart-rending performance of her career, she plays a fifteen-year-old street urchin who longs to escape her miserable existence. Emotionally scarred by the torment and neglect of her abusive father (Donald Crisp), she collapses in the shop of the lonely and disillusioned "yellow man." As he tenderly nurses her back to health, an unspoken romance flowers between them, awakening in each of them feelings of love they thought themselves forever denied. In some ways, Broken blossoms was Griffith's response to critics of The birth of a nation, an effort to clear himself of lingering charges of racism. However, cinematic convention forbade physical intimacy between the two races. With this in mind, Griffith took what might have been a bold interracial romance and turned it into something more ethereal: a form of cinematic poetry that engages the viewer through subtle gestures and changes of expression, meticulously choreographed and gracefully assembled. Featuring Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Donald Crisp
Notes Title from title frames
Event Originally produced by Kino Lorber Edu in 1919
Notes Mode of access: World Wide Web
Subject Romance films.
Chinese -- England.
Abused children -- England -- London.
Interracial friendship -- England -- London.
Boxers (Sports) -- England -- London.
Runaways (Fictitious characters)
Murder in motion pictures.
Limehouse (London, England)
Genre/Form Video recordings.
Form Streaming video
Author Barthelmess, Richard, 1895-1963, actor
Crisp, Donald, 1880-1974, actor
Griffith, D. W. (David Wark), 1875-1948, director
Kanopy (Firm)