To understand what life was like in Shanghai, China, during the 1920s and 30s, you could look up a newspaper published at the time. Alternatively, you could watch the student-made films screened at this year’s Golden Chopsticks Awards.
As a conclusion to his popular class, “The Cultural History of Twentieth Century China,” Professor Paul Pickowicz hosted an Oscar-esque award ceremony where students showed off the fruits of their labor—20-minute black-and-white silent films aimed to emulate ones made in Shanghai in the early 20th century.
In Voice of the City, a washed-up and abused songstress is comforted in 1930s Shanghai by a bohemian artist.
Shanghai, 1926. A slick, metropolitan gangster takes pity on an innocent rural lass who is being ruthlessly exploited in Wildfire.
An unpretentious urban woman rediscovers the wholesomeness of 1930s village life, much to the distress of her philandering husband in Bitter Days, Savory Nights.
A desperately poor woman is recruited by her long-lost sister to work as a prostitute on the mean streets of 1930s Shanghai in The Long Journey Home.