A fisherman’s family, crowded out by industrial competition, try to find work in Shanghai. They fall foul of the city’s violence and are forced to sing in the street for their livelihood.
Song of the Fishermen was a huge box-office success and the first Chinese film to win an international award, in Moscow. Cai Chusheng’s film brings together the signs of popular culture in a city marked by modernity. The filmmaker takes advantage of this to hijack the filmic conventions of the time by setting a sustained pace and creating stimulating elliptical interplays.