This lively amateur film shows the street life of Dongsi (marked by its pair of wooden archways) and Chongwenmen (with its city gate) in east Beijing, bustling with busy markets, street pedlars and tradesmen. We are treated to an energetic display of martial arts by a master and his two disciples, and witness the grand funeral cortege of Dr Sun Yat-Sen, founding father of the Chinese Republic. His remains were moved to Nanjing in 1929, where they were placed in the Sun Zhongshan Mausoleum in the Purple Mountain.
This film was shot by Methodist missionaries in 1925. Chinese city life was traditionally concentrated around the foot of city walls or wooden archways. Many daily activities, like eating at food stalls or getting a hair-cut, were held in the open, while other services - the plate-mender and water-carrier - were delivered to the doorstep.