These four exquisite panoramic views of the Bund in Shanghai give a glimpse of life on the Huangpu River. The film captures the extraordinary collision of East-meets-West in one of China’s most populated cities: sampans clustering around steel-hulled ships, and baroque European architecture towering over the waterfront.
Filmographic details are sparse – who shot this film, when, and why remains a mystery. But there’re clues in the content: the Bund skyline isn’t yet graced by the iconic Customs House, completed in 1927. The film shares its long takes, wide-angle shots, fixed tripod, ‘in camera’ editing, and nautical theme with River Scenery China (1921) suggesting that the two films could be related. Perhaps they are fragments of production footage for an unrealised project?