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

The Woman from China
The Woman from China

The Woman from China 1930


This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.


The Woman from China 1930

82 mins United Kingdom

This fun and outrageous thriller, set in London's docklands, is stuffed full of secret lairs, trapdoors, jealousy, deceit and corruption. Chang-Li, attracted to an English typist, plots to kidnap her fiancé with the help of a young woman from China. With white actors cast in Chinese roles, the film typifies the sensationalist way Chinese communities were often depicted in 30s British fiction.

One of the later British silent movies, this 'Quota Quickie' met the increased demand for British productions created by the 1927 Cinematographic Act. It was standard practise at the time for white actors to be 'made-up' to play Chinese roles. The most convincingly Chinese performance here comes from Japanese actor Kiyoshi Takase.


Julie Suedo

Gibb McLaughlin

Frances Cuyler

Kiyoshi Takase

R. Byron-Webber


Action and Adventure


Chinese people Kidnapping


Chinese Britain on Film Tales of Old Chinatown Free Archive Features




United Kingdom



Production company

Edward G. Whiting Productions

Read lessRead more

Explore further

View Cosmopolitan London
Cosmopolitan London
Watch for free 9 mins

Cosmopolitan London 1924

An extraordinary tour of Soho's French cafés, Clerkenwell's Little Italy and the lesser-trodden streets of Limehouse in the 1920s.

9 mins United Kingdom Director. Frank Miller, Harry B. Parkinson

View Dr Sin Fang: The Adventure of the Torture Cage
Dr Sin Fang: The Adventure of the Torture Cage
Watch for free

Dr Sin Fang: The Adventure of the Torture Cage 1928

An evil criminal doctor entraps and tortures a greedy trader in this only surviving episode of silent adventure serial Dr Sin Fang.

30 mins United Kingdom Director. Fred Paul

View Cocaine
Watch from £0.85

Cocaine 1922

A decadent, controversial tale of London's seedy underbelly, where an elegant Chinese club host enslaves the weak with white powder.

80 mins United Kingdom Director. Graham Cutts

View She, a Chinese
She, a Chinese

She, a Chinese 2009 18

British-Chinese director Xiaolu Guo’s story of a young woman's journey from a remote Chinese village to London, in an attempt to realise the Western consumer dream.

United Kingdom Director. Xiaolu Guo


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