This film is part of Free

China Today

An epic amateur travelogue of eastern China on the cusp of Japanese invasion, filmed by British writer Lady Dorothea Hosie.

Travelogue 1936 58 mins Silent


This breathtaking amateur travelogue was shot by British writer Lady Dorothea Hosie while researching her book Brave New China (1938). Beginning at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Guangzhou, the film takes us on an epic journey along China's east coast, taking in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing, Tianjin and Ningbo, and venturing inland to Sichuan Province, near the Tibetan border.

Few Britons knew more of China in the 1930s than Lady Hosie, who was born in the country to missionary parents, and later married a member of the British consulate there. Her film is incredible for its sheer length and ambitious scope - an hour's footage is highly unusual for an amateur production of the time - but equally so for its many intimate portraits of Chinese friends, their families, and people she meets along the way.