Hailed as the finest Chinese film of all time, Spring in a Small Town is an intimate work of cinematic poetry that shows five people struggling to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of a war. A married woman’s humdrum life in a small town changes when her former sweetheart returns after a decade’s absence to visit his old friend, her ailing husband. Her voiceover creates a gripping psychological drama, even as Fei Mu’s lyrical cinematography shows people hesitating at a moment of uncertainty, amidst an environment of ruins.
Xiaocheng zhi chun
Alternative English titles: When Spring Comes, Springtime in a Small City
Director: Fei Mu
Screenplay: Li Tianji
Wen Hwa (Wenhua) Film Studio
Month of release: July 1948
Cast: Wei Wei, Shi Yu, Li Wei, Zhang Hongmei, Cui Chaoming
English subtitles translated by Christopher Rea
See the video lectures and other materials in the Spring in a Small Town (1948) module of the Chinese Film Classics online course.