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

This Is China
This Is China

This Is China 1946


This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.


This Is China 1946

9 mins United Kingdom

This is a fascinating compilation of scenes showing diversity and disparity in 1940s China. The ancient Forbidden City and Great Wall are followed by Shanghai’s metropolitan skyline; primitive farming methods are juxtaposed with mechanised factories; children in rags are contrasted with models wearing the latest fashions; Nationalist commanders and Communist leaders vie for support.

The 38 years from the collapse of the last imperial dynasty in 1911 to the establishment of a Communist government in 1949 were arguably the most turbulent in Chinese history. The country was split both economically and politically. While cities along the eastern seaboard saw rapid growth, the western hinterland remained poor and undeveloped. Meanwhile, the nation was being torn apart by civil war and Japanese incursion. These thought-provoking scenes reveal the immense challenges that would face the People’s Republic when it was founded three years after the making of this film.

Read lessRead more

Explore further

View Refugees in Shanghai: Their Life and Their Education
Refugees in Shanghai: Their Life and Their Education
Watch for free

Refugees in Shanghai: Their Life and Their Education 1945

Fascinating, sometimes harrowing record of life in camps run by international aid agencies following the bombing of Shanghai by the Japanese.

21 mins United Kingdom

View The Bombing of Canton
The Bombing of Canton
Watch for free 9 mins

The Bombing of Canton 1938

Harrowing footage of death and destruction in the aftermath of sustained Japanese bombing of the southern Chinese city.

9 mins People's Republic of China

View On the Heels of the 'Reds'
On the Heels of the 'Reds'
Watch for free 10 mins

On the Heels of the 'Reds' 1927

Troops of infamous warlord General Tsung Chang occupy strategic points in Jiangsu Province on the eve of the Chinese Civil War.

10 mins United Kingdom

View Aid to China
Aid to China
Watch for free 19 mins

Aid to China 1945

Heart-rending British appeal film for funds to ease suffering of China's orphaned children and starving millions after Japanese invasion.

19 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