Produced by: Sue Yung Li

28 min. Color. 1981.

Captioned: No

Catalog #: 0119

Price: $195.00

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Product Description

Known for centuries as the center of Chinese culture and aesthetics, this Yangzi delta city has often been called the “Venice of the East” because of its many canals and bridges. This beautifully filmed portrait of the city leads the viewer through markets and teahouses, sweet shops and bookstores, rice paddies and fish stalls, and two of Suzhou’s exquisite gardens.

The film — from the classic three-part “Cities in China Series” — explores the process of silk cultivation, long a Suzhou specialty, and shows the preparation of a regional meal in a simple home kitchen. Two elegant young women sing in a garden, evoking the celebrated days of the literati gathering. An expressive storyteller recounts a traditional epic, enhancing his tale with the sound effect of drum rolls and charging horses.

The film concludes with visits to two of Suzhou’s famed gardens: the Net Master’s Garden and the Garden of the Humble Politician. Whether sensed in these fabled gardens, or evoked in the banter of elderly gentlemen taking tea together, a persistent devotion to basic moral values in shown to be intrinsic to Suzhou life.