This fascinating amateur film is one of only two film records of Tianjin (then Tientsin) in this collection. It offers a series of intriguing snapshots of life in northern China's largest coastal city: ornate buildings, a majestic pailou archway, temples, rickshaws and street sellers. There are a striking number of faces too - one group of children seem utterly captivated by the camera.
Since the mid-19th century, Tianjin has been a major sea-port and gateway to neighbouring Beijing. This film was shot two years after Tianjin was established as a municipality of China. The filmmaker, J.G. Thomson, was a keen amateur who also made films of Egypt, Japan, the Philippines and Singapore. His collection was donated to the BFI in 1999.