The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

Among the Tribes in South-West China
Among the Tribes in South-West China

Among the Tribes in South-West China 1948


This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.


Among the Tribes in South-West China 1948

21 mins United Kingdom

A western missionary and his cohort of assistants and armed guards penetrate deep into the mountains of Yunnan in search of the Miao and Nosu minorities. This beautifully shot film shows the challenging terrain of this southwestern province, where ethnic tribes lived in isolation and primitive conditions. On reaching the villages, the party give medical treatment to members of the community.

Almost half of China’s 55 ethnic minorities inhabit Yunnan, on the border with Vietnam, Laos and Burma. Many lived in poverty and isolation due to the inaccessibility of their mountainous habitat. Before the Communists came to power in 1949, a year after this film was shot, missionaries were the only source of education, medical treatment and regular meals, which explains their success in converting large numbers of the populace as compared with the rest of China. While made to celebrate missionary achievements, the film nevertheless provides a good insight into the Miao tribe in the mid-20th century.

Read lessRead more

Explore further

View Snapshots of China: Shaoyang Hospital, Hunan
Snapshots of China: Shaoyang Hospital, Hunan
Watch for free 9 mins

Snapshots of China: Shaoyang Hospital, Hunan 1946

Rare insight into the health work of Methodist missionaries in rural Shaoyang, Hunan Province, South Central China.

9 mins United Kingdom

View Mongolia
Watch for free

Mongolia 1935

Mongolian men show off their prowess in wrestling, archery and horse racing, known as the “three manly games”.

28 mins United Kingdom Director. Charles Bell

View The Work of Evangelism in Hunan
The Work of Evangelism in Hunan
Watch for free 12 mins

The Work of Evangelism in Hunan 1935

Religious rites and Christian activism in South Central China, seen through the eyes of Methodist missionaries.

12 mins United Kingdom

View Kashgar Scenes - 1926
Kashgar Scenes - 1926
Watch for free 4 mins

Kashgar Scenes - 1926 1926

A rare glimpse of life in and around China’s troubled westernmost city in the 1920s.

4 mins United Kingdom


View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts

Never ask | Ask me later