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Chinese Funeral c.1927

Engrossing home movie images of an extravagant funeral procession on the streets of a Chinese city.

Amateur film 1927 6 mins Silent


This engrossing home movie captures an elaborate funeral procession interrupting the bustle of everyday street life in a Chinese city, most likely Tianjin (then known as Tientsin). The sheer scale of proceedings suggests the deceased was someone very important. Mourners in luxurious robes mingle with soldiers wearing black armbands; the huge decorated casket seems to be adorned with rifles and bayonets.

This was one of a collection of films filmed by amateur filmmaker J.G. Thompson - who worked on the Peking railway - in the late 1920s and early 30s, and donated to the BFI in 1999 by Mrs R Ownsworth.