THE BIG ROAD (Sun Yu, 1934)

The opening of Sun Yu’s Leftist silent Da Lu—literally, The Great Way—is superb. A group of construction workers, building a Chinese road, sing as if carefree, led by an almost giddily cheerful boy, (we later learn) Jing Ge. Flashback: long-shot; a couple, twenty years earlier, trudge across an inhospitable, dusty landscape. Cut to close camera, […]