This film is part of Free

City Streets; Funeral; Rural Scenes - China, C1932/33

The buzz of Chinese city street life is contrasted with an elaborate funeral procession and brief rural scenes in this absorbing amateur film.

Amateur film 1933 4 mins Silent


These busy street scenes were probably filmed in Beijing (formerly Peking); the carved wooden pailou or ceremonial archway marks this out as an important thoroughfare. Pedestrians, rickshaws and cyclists compete with electric trams as traders transport their wares to market. We also see an elaborate funeral procession, and brief harvesting scenes in the countryside, most likely outside Shanghai.

The film was shot by Dr Reginald Clay, a London teacher who travelled to China after his retirement in the early 1930s. Dr Clay visited Beijing before staying with his daughter, a medical missionary, in Shanghai.