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

Naval Life in China
Naval Life in China

Naval Life in China 1908

Close

This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.

Close

Naval Life in China 1908

2 mins France

This richly detailed travelogue of China is one of three or four made by French company Pathé Frères in 1908. It's likely to have been filmed in southern China, possibly at the mouth of the Yangtze River or along the Grand Canal. The river and its banks are crowded with sampans, fishermen and traders; goods and empty litter chairs are unloaded. The elaborately carved junk could be a warship.

Most of the men in the film are sporting the Manchu queue hairstyle with its familiar braided ponytail, imposed on the Han Chinese population during the late Qing Dynasty - and soon to be a relic of Imperial China. The intertitles are in German as this copy of the film was part of the collection of Jesuit priest Abbé Joye.

Genres

Travelogue

Tags

Sedan chairs Ethnology China Ports Guangzhou

Collection

Somewhere in China

Released

1908

Country

France

Language

English

Production company

Pathé Frères

Read lessRead more

Explore further

View Chinese Scene
Chinese Scene
Watch for free 4 mins

Chinese Scene 1920

Take a serene tour of the canals, bridges and pagodas of Suzhou in Eastern China.

4 mins United Kingdom

View An Oriental Venice
An Oriental Venice
Watch for free 2 mins

An Oriental Venice 1925

Enjoy a cruise along the ancient canals of Zhejiang Province in eastern China with this gorgeous stencil-coloured travelogue

2 mins United Kingdom

View Peking and Its Surroundings
Peking and Its Surroundings
Watch for free

Peking and Its Surroundings 1910

The austere beauty of the Great Wall of China's rugged mountain passes, in a travelogue tracing a caravan of camels' journey to Beijing.

France

View In China - A Trip on the Imperial Canal
In China - A Trip on the Imperial Canal
Watch for free 8 mins

In China - A Trip on the Imperial Canal 1908

Take a cruise through imperial China on the world's longest man-made waterway, the Grand Canal.

8 mins France

Subscription

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